The 11-year-old daughter of a prison officer was grazed by a bullet shortly after 8.20 pm on Saturday. Police said Nia Marie Daniel was in the living room of her Jerningham Avenue, Belmont home when she heard glass shattering and felt a burning sensation in her abdomen.
Daniel called out to her father, Prison Officer I Nigel Daniel, who took her to Port of Spain General Hospital. She was treated and kept overnight for observation. A report was made to Belmont Police and investigators recovered two spent shells from the victim’s home. Police believe the shooting was meant to be a warning to the prison officer.
The incident was referred to the Prison Officers Association and an emergency meeting has been scheduled for today to discuss this latest attack on prison officers. Newsday was told that Daniel and his family have been placed at a secret location for their own protection. In recent weeks, prison officers have stepped up their calls to be issued with firearms when off-duty. Some have even sought asylum in Canada.
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and Prisons Commissioner William Alexander have both assured that every effort is being made to bring those who attack prison officers to justice.
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon has also signalled Government’s intention to get law enforcement to speed up investigations into such crimes and ensure police patrols where prison officers reside.