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Monday 18 December 2017
Crime and Court

Shot officer loses kidney & spleen, needs blood

CONCERN: Ag Deputy Commissioner Sharon Baig-Clarke and Senior Superintendent Devindra Sagram at the Intensive Care Unit of the Erin Williams Medical Sciences Center in Mt Hope

Policewoman Roxanne Sealey is in dire need of six pints of blood as she remains warded in a serious condition at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope after being accidentally shot by a colleague inside the San Juan police station on Tuesday.

Doctors informed Sealey’s relatives that they had no choice but to remove her spleen and one of her kidneys which were damaged beyond repair the bullet which also damaged her intestines and other organs on striking her in the stomach.

Several officers went to the Hospital yesterday not only to give support to Sealey’s worried relatives but also to donate their blood as she would need to undergo more surgery to repair the extensive damage caused by the gunshot. Officers gathered at the hospital’s intensive care unit where she is warded.

Aunt Alicia Wells, who along with Sealey’s mother and other relatives were at hospital yesterday, thanked doctors for their work in stabilising Sealey’s condition. She said the entire family is praying, hoping and remaining positive that she would make a full recovery. Well said the family is trying to understand fully the circumstances surrounding her niece’s shooting.

“It’s shocking that such negligence can take place at a station where there are officers who are supposed to be highly trained in the use and handling of firearms. We want answers into this shooting but I have confidence that the police will conduct a fair and thorough investigation,” Wells said.

Sealey, who is married and a mother of three with the youngest child being two-year-old, is showing signs of improvement but is still listed as being in a serious condition. “The family, especially her second daughter is taking the news of her shooting very hard as you can well understand,” Wells said.

According to police, a police constable attempted to pick up a magazine cartridge while holding his TTPS-issued semi-automatic pistol. At the time, the safety mechanism on the firearm was in the ‘off’ position and as he bent down to pick up the cartridge, the firearm discharged and WPC Sealey who was seated nearby, was shot.

The officer who accidentally discharged the firearm, had the tip of his index finger shot off as the bullet was fired. He was treated and is now in sick leave. Police said the male officer was left in tears on hearing the extent of WPC Sealey’s injuries and may have to be given counselling.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Sharon Baig-Clarke who visited relatives at the intensive care unit, told Newsday the Police Service is deeply saddened by the incident and promised that an investigation is underway.

“We intend to conduct an in-depth enquiry to get to the bottom of what really went on. At the moment however, we cannot say whether there was any foul play. For now we have reached out to our comrades in the defence force and the coast guard to donate blood for WPC Sealey and we are praying for her full recovery,” DCP Baig-Clarke said.

Sealey’s supervising officer ASP Ramkhelawan was also at hospital yesterday and said that since the incident, a grim atmosphere has fallen over the San Juan police station. He spoke of Sealey’s commitment to her duty as a police officer.

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