Special Reserve Police officer Charles Kublalsingh, who was on extended leave, was shot once in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun less than three minutes after leaving his home on Saturday night. His attacker then stole his gun and car.
The 56-year-old, police said yesterday, had requested leave from duty after he became a witness in a murder case where one of his then superiors was charged. That matter is still ongoing.
Kublalsingh, who lived at Jackson Street, Curepe, was granted a firearm user’s licence due to threats he reported to his colleagues after he became a witness in the case.
Police reported that around 8.03 pm on Saturday, they received a report while on patrol of a shooting at Woodford Street, Curepe. When they arrived, they found men bundling Kublalsingh into a car to take him to hospital.
The officers escorted the car to hospital, where Kublalsingh was declared dead around 8.35 pm.
Police said Kublalsingh was returning to his silver Toyota Fielder wagon parked along Woodford Street after purchasing an item at a nearby mini-mart. While walking back to the car, however, a gunman approached him and shot him in the chest. He then took Kublalsingh’s Glock45 pistol and his car. The car was later found abandoned in Maracas, St Joseph.
When Guardian Media visited Kublalsingh’s relatives yesterday, they said they were still grappling with the realisation that he was dead. They said he left home, promising his dog he was returning soon. The dog has since been sleeping on his pillow, awaiting his master’s return.
“He was a good man,” was all one relative could muster up the strength to say.
Guardian Media left the home and journeyed for two minutes and 16 seconds to the spot where he was shot.
At the scene of the shooting, Homicide detectives were seen speaking with residents, hoping to piece together what transpired.
While Guardian Media was in the community, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds was speaking on a radio programme on crime, murders and the detection rate. He stopped to offer his condolences to Kublalsingh’s relatives and colleagues.
“I want to extend condolences first to his family and to his community and I certainly want to extend condolences to Trinidad and Tobago Police Service because they would have lost a brother, a friend, a member and it traumatises them, not to the point of making them immobilised, but they do feel pain for their brother,” Hinds said.
Relatives said while Kublalsingh was on extended personal leave, he was making preparations to return to the T&T Police Service as soon as possible.
This dedication to service is what president of the International Police Association, Snr Supt Curtis Bedford, recalled most about Kublalsingh.
In a telephone interview with Guardian Media, Bedford said Charles was member of the association for several years and was treasurer for many. He said at a function hosted by the association to celebrate its recognition as an independent arm of the international body and no longer under the US, Kublalsingh was present.
He recalled Kublalsingh speaking with the adjutant of the SRPs in relation to his return to the service.
“I know Charles from when he was a security guard at Hillview College when I went there, and I became a police officer. Charles had desired to become a police officer and I assisted him in that,” Bedford said.
He added that Kublalsingh was promoted to corporal before he took leave, but as a temporary officer, he was on no-pay leave.
Kublalsingh, during his years, worked at the Municipal Police in San Juan and at the Praedial Larceny Squad, Bedford said.
“He was a distinguished member of the association for several years, serving as treasurer. He was well known and well regarded,” Bedford said, adding that Kublalsingh was awarded the Service Through Friendship Award on several occasions.