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Monday 23 October 2017
Local

No closure for family of police shooting victim

One of the two men who were shot dead in a police raid on First Street, San Juan on Friday, is believed to be 27-year-old Christian Lewis, from Mon Repos, Morvant.

Angry relatives yesterday told reporters at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, that they have been waiting since Saturday, to verify whether or not the man was in fact their relative. However, they have been getting the “run around” from police officers.

They were told that the man, who was employed with “Car Search” was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time when police raided the First Street house.

“He (Lewis) had no record, and he has no pending matters. How could police just kill someone and have no remorse? Plus, we are looking for some kind of closure, and the police are toying with us. Please, we cannot bring him back, but can we at least have some sort of closure?” pleaded a relative while at Forensics yesterday.

According to reports, police officers of the North Eastern Division Police executed a search warrant at the house on First Street, when they came across three men. While trying to escape police, one of the three men drew a firearm and shot at police, but when they returned fire two of the men, one of whom is believed to be Lewis, were fatally wounded.

Relatives were told that Lewis was liming at the house when the several marked vehicles occupied with police arrived to execute the search.

The frightened man, along with two others, ran away and police gave chase. Relatives were then told that the police officers riddled Lewis with bullets, although he begged for his life.

Family members were notified on Friday night that he was shot and had died, and were called to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex to identify the body. They went on Saturday, but police were a no-show.

Relatives went back to the hospital on Sunday, but after an entire day of waiting, police still did not show up. Family members went to Forensics yesterday, sure they would finally be able to identify the body and begin the process of laying him to rest, but police officers told funeral home operators that they did not have police available to escort the body to Forensics.

“That is totally unfair,” said a relative yesterday, “They had six Jeeps to raid the house, but they don’t even have one to help bring the body? It hurts so much to see that police could do this to us.”

Newsday was unable to reach family members of the second shooting victim, but was told that they have been going through a similar situation. Relatives are expected to return to Forensics today, to see if they could finally identify the shooting victims.

In an unrelated incident, the body of a man who was shot dead on Duncan Street, Port of Spain last Friday, was identified as Kevin Morris.

While relatives were reluctant to speak to members of the media yesterday, earlier reports indicated that he was shot just before midday on Friday.

Residents heard gunshots ring out near a pan yard on Duncan Street at about 11.55 am and when they checked, they saw him lying face down in a pool of blood. An autopsy done yesterday confirmed that he died from multiple gunshot wounds.

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