Peola Baptiste, the lone female security officer who was shot several times during Monday’s deadly Pennywise heist by six bandits, has regained consciousness.
Baptiste suffered a stroke on Wednesday, which prompted doctors to perform life-saving surgery. Although she has regained consciousness, Baptiste remains heavily sedated as she recuperates at the Intensive Care Unit.
Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, her daughter Makinni Wellington said: “We are thankful she has opened her eyes. Her condition is still stable.”
Baptiste, a single mother of six, and grandmother of four, suffered gunshots to the chest, abdomen and arms. Her face was also grazed by the bullet which fractured her right cheekbone.
Wellington said the family is taking turns visiting Baptiste in the hospital.
Having been in the security industry for over 20 years, Baptiste was always seen as the pillar of strength in her family.
Wellington said they were continuing to pray over her mother, begging God to spare her life.
Baptiste was the only guard who survived an attack by six bandits armed with AR-15s, who opened fire on their unarmoured Mitsubishi Triton around 5 pm on Monday. Her colleagues Jeffery Peters, 51, and Jerry Winston Stuart, 49, were killed in the attack.
Police subsequently killed four of the bandits, identified as brothers Kyle and Keon Ramdhan, Greg Dodough and Deaundre Montrose, during a shootout as they tried to hide under a house at Jones Street, La Romain. Two other suspects were subsequently arrested but are yet to be charged in connection with the incident.
A soldier who works at the T&T Regiment base at La Romain was also detained for questioning and one of the bulletproof vests used by the bandits was said to belong to a police officer from the South Western Division.
A nine-year-old boy was also grazed by a bullet, which left him with a wound near his eye.
The boy’s father told Guardian Media that he underwent a surgical procedure yesterday and will spend another week at the San Fernando General Hospital. The child attends Siparia RC primary school.