Suspended Special Reserve Policeman Sgt Gary Alexander had been living in his car for several months after the court awarded his wife Debbie occupation of their marital home at Avocat Village, Fyzabad.
A quarrel over the property on Sunday morning is what police believe is what may have triggered off the homeless Alexander to attempt suicide by setting himself on fire in the car which he called home.
President of the Police Social Welfare Association (PSWA) Insp Michael Seales said he did not know the circumstances of the court award but understands that Alexander had been living in his car for the greater part of the year since he was ejected from the marital home.
“He had no fixed place of abode,” Seales confirmed in a telephone interview.
He said Alexander’s situation was not known to the PSWA before Sunday because he was an SRP and out of the system after being charged with malicious damage and attempted arson.
Seales said representatives from the PSWA were assigned to visit Alexander to determine how best they can assist.
“At this time, I have no report on his circumstances. The officers on a fact-finding mission. I am awaiting on them to present us with something, so we would know how best to assist. We don’t know if there are children, how many, it is promotion time we don’t know if the children are of school age if we may need to assist with books.”
Newsday understands that Alexander and his wife Debbie had two children.
Sources at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) told Newsday Alexander continues to fight for his life. “He suffered 75 percent burns to his body and remains in a critical condition. He is warded at the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital,” the source said.
Oropouche police are investigating the circumstances under which the SRP allegedly set himself ablaze outside his home at Jebodhsingh Avenue, in the presence of his wife Debbie and their two children Shenise and Jacy.
Eyewitnesses told the police that shortly after 10 am Alexander drove up before the house. They said their peaceful Sunday morning was disturbed by loud talking mixed with expletives between Alexander who was on the roadway and his wife who was in the gallery.
One person said Alexander went inside the yard, grabbed a sheet from the back of the house and a container with gasoline and returned to the car. He wrapped himself with the sheet, doused it and the inside of the car with gasoline and set himself ablaze.
“The morning was shattered by a loud explosion followed by a woman screaming. As the heat became intense, he jumped out of the vehicle and started running,” one resident said. It is believed his son ran to his rescue and helped to put out the flames. The car was completely destroyed.
A video which has been circulating on social media shows the car on fire and what appears to be Alexander, engulfed in flames running in an open grassy area, with the piercing cries of a female’s voice in the background. There are also a number of still shots which shows Alexander charred body, blackened by the flames with white spots where the fire would have eaten away his flesh, in an upright position on the grass.
He was taken by ambulance to the SFGH where he remains warded in a critical condition.
Oropouche police are continuing investigations.