Police shot and killed a 15-year-old boy yesterday which is being described by relatives as murder, while police say it was a shootout with an armed "pest".
According to police reports shortly beforenoonthey responded to a report that a man with a gun was seen in someone's yard off Maingot Road, Tunapuna. When the officers responded there was a shootout and the teen, Josiah Ramsahai, was shot and taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex where he died. Police said they recovered a 9mm pistol.
Police said following the shooting as they canvassed the area searching for items of evidential value, residents told them in hushed tones that they were grateful that Ramsahai was dead since "he was a menace".
Ramsahai, who lived at Dookie Trace, Tunapuna was released on bail from the St Micheal's Home for Boys less than a month ago for firearm related offences which his relatives swore were "frame cases". Police said Ramsahai was on 13 charges including possession of firearm, possession of narcotics, rape and larceny for offences allegedly committed this year and last year.
Speaking with the media yesterday at the family's home, Ramsahai's aunt Afesha Ramsahai, said her nephew was at home less than hour before he was killed and they were discussing what he wanted for his 16 birthday onDecember 2. She added that her nephew left home and the next she heard of him was that he was shot.
"He call me and say 'Aunty Feisha I get shoot' and that was the last thing he tell me. When I ask him where, he didn't answer, up to now he ain't answer. Josiah is a baby he now start to live, he ain't even get his id card yet" she groaned.
Relatives said they were informed that Ramsahai surrendered to police and while he ran from them, he never once fired at them. They said after he was felled in a bushy area, he was dragged through mud and thrown in a police van. One relative said she heard the gunshots that killed Ramsahai. She counted six, but was told by doctors that he was shot some 17 times.
Ramsahai was a school dropout from the Aranjuez North Secondary School and was due to begin classes in electrical work at the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in January. He was due to graduate from secondary school next year had he not dropped out.
At the family's home, relatives said Ramsahai was the target of a particular officer attached to the Tunapuna Police Station. They claimed that for over a year the officerhadbeen pestering Ramsahai, even going as far as threatening to kill him. To corroborate their claim the relatives showed a report stamped and dated by the Police Complaints Division against two officers.
Ramsahai added: "Right now the family in shambles, he lost his father on the same street that he get shoot. His father was killed in a drive-by a few years ago in that same street (Pasea Extension). He is his mother's fourth child, she have eight, how she supposed to cope now?"
The family said police were, "wicked", "spiteful" and untrustworthy and asked "How we supposed to trust them now?"
OnlyWednesdayacting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams called on the public to trust his officers as he admitted to having 150 of them before the court for various offences.
In response to the claims of murder, police said they have a statement from an independent eye-witness who claimed to have seen Ramsahai not only running from police but shooting at them. The man claimed that in this shootout his vehicle was struck three times by bullets from Ramsahai's gun.