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Wednesday 24 July 2019
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Young: ‘Too many illegal firearms’

TTDF private wounded in Beetham

National Security Minister Stuart Young.
National Security Minister Stuart Young.

A private in the Defence Force was wounded when he was shot while on patrol in the Beetham Estate on Tuesday night.

Police investigating the incident are still trying to ascertain whether he was the target or was caught in the crossfire between two gangs.

The soldier, identified as Private Akeem O’Garro, was driving along the Eastern Main Road, Laventille, near First Street in the Beetham, when gunfire broke out and O’Garro was hit in the arm.

The wounded O’Garro drove a short distance and then crashed into another car. Passers-by took him to Port of Spain General Hospital, where he was treated.

Yesterday, at a press conference in the National Security Ministry on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, reporters were told the shooting was one of the reasons police and all other arms of national security will redouble efforts to fight crime.

National Security Minister Stuart Young said there were too many guns in the country, and the ministry had already begun to beef up security along the borders in order to stymie the flow of guns.

O’Garro’s shooting, he said, “is part of why we are going to be doing what we are doing in the next few weeks,” Young said. “There are too many illegal firearms in TT.

“You would have noticed a better lockdown of our borders. It is quite interesting to see videos on social media of people complaining that the Coast Guard are not allowing stuff to come in.”

He said along with the lockdown, National Security divisions will be putting the squeeze on crime in all local ports, including airports and seaports.

“That is going to help us on some systematic point of view to prevent further firearms from coming into the country,” Young said.

Meanwhile a 19-year-old man is dead after a shooting in Diego Martin on Tuesday night. He has been identified as Elijah Harding.

Police said Harding, of Roxborough Street, Diego Martin, was walking along Hill Vue Drive, when, at about 11.30 pm, a gunman shot him several times.

Western Divison Police were told of the gunfire in the area, and found him lying in a pool of blood.

They took him to hospital, but he died of his wounds.

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