Broken pieces of red and blue ink pens on the road outside the Southern Girl Guides Headquarters marked the spot yesterday where Dr Rudradeva Sharma was kidnapped before being killed in a vehicular crash.
Sharma suffered severe head trauma when abductors crashed his white Honda CRV SUV along the Solomon Hochoy Highway.
According to reports, Sharma, 38, of La Romaine and his colleague Dr Prem Naidoo, 37, of Palmiste had finished a shift at the San Fernando General Hospital at 10 pm on Tuesday.
Police say they were sitting in the SUV on Rushwood Street Extension, San Fernando when, around 11.58 pm, they were approached by three gunmen. They were robbed of cash and their phones.
The gunmen then tied up the doctors, bundled them in the trunk of the SUV and sped to the Solomon Hochoy Highway.
On reaching Macaulay, Claxton Bay around 1.50 am, the driver lost control, causing the vehicles to flip. Surveillance footage from a utility installation along the highway showed the SUV flipped more than 16 times before stopping in the grass.
The doctors and kidnappers were taken to the San Fernando General Hospital by ambulance. However, Sharma, the nephew of former Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma, was already dead.
Sharma served as a general practitioner for the past 15 years. Police initially thought they were dealing with a fatal road traffic accident until Naidoo informed them that they were kidnapped.
Police recovered a firearm and Snr Supt Wayne Mohammed ordered officers back to the crash scene to search for more weapons.
San Fernando CID detectives Sgt Williams and Cpl Bassarath have begun the probe. They are being assisted by the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, Region Three, as the incident is also being probed as a homicide.
Investigators do not yet know where the suspects were going but suspect that they were going to hold their victims for a ransom. So far, investigators indicated that Naidoo may soon be discharged as well as a 19-year-old suspect, who began crying at the hospital after being informed of the homicide investigation.
His mother told police that he was at home on Tuesday night and left after getting a phone call. His accomplices remain warded in critical conditions.
At Naidoo’s home, his wife would only say that he was recovering well but she had to leave him at the hospital to care for their children.
But at Sharma’s home, his family were too distraught.
His cousin Kiran Singh, who is the president of the Greater San Fernando Area Chamber of Commerce said it was a tragic time for the family and the community.
“This was a young medical professional who was serving the community, working long hours, late at nights, giving back to the hospital in service that we can’t begin to imagine for a young man who was not married, who gave his everything for his job and his family.
“To see that bandits can now snuff out the life of an innocent person in the blink of an eye, it begs to question,” Singh said.
Outside the Forensic Science Centre, Chandresh Sharma said his nephew worked in the Infectious Disease Department and had been working nonstop because of a staff shortage.
Emotions were high at the San Fernando General Hospital, not only for the loss of Sharma, who was described as a hard worker but because they had to treat the men who took his life.
Acting Medical Director of Health Dr Pravinde Ramoutar said Sharma’s death had left staff disturbed and even concerned about their safety.
However, he said they were conscious of their professional obligation and while it was a difficult and emotional time, they were doing all they needed to do.
The South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) said security protocols have been reinforced at the hospital, although the incident did not occur on the compound.