Two bandits who robbed patrons of their jewellery at a bar in San Fernando yesterday morning were stopped in their tracks.
One was shot and killed and the other wounded by a retired policeman.
When police arrived, they found the body of one of the bandits, only identified as “Tallo,” with bullet wounds to his chest.
Clutched in his hands were two pairs of gold chains which he had taken from customers at the bar.
A police report said at about 11.30am today the two bandits entered Marshall’s bar at the corner of Cipero and Sutton Streets and announced a hold-up.
Eyewitnesses said the men told customers to hand over their jewellery. The two bandits then walked through the bar snatching gold chains from people's necks.
A retired policeman was walking nearby, saw the commotion and told the men to drop their weapons.
They refused and instead pointed their guns at him. But before they could shoot, he pulled out his licensed gun and began shooting at them.
There was an exchange of gunfire and screams were heard from inside the bar, according to passers-by.
The two bandits ran out onto Sutton Street and continued shooting.
Tallo was hit, fell to the ground and died near the bar. His accomplice was shot in the leg and eyewitnesses said he hopped away. Investigators said a trail of blood was spotted leading to nearby apartments but the bandit was not found. A manhunt has been launched for him.
They said both men were known criminals, originally from Port of Spain, who had recently moved to San Fernando.
A district medical officer pronounced “Tallo” dead and ordered his body removed to the Forensic Science Centre.
Deputy mayor Vidya Mungal-Bissessar described the incident as alarming.
“In San Fernando and we pride ourselves on safety and security. However, I do have full faith in the police that they are undertaking their investigations and will be able to bring some sort of positive resolution to the crime situation.”
However, she felt dealing with crime was not only the job of the police.
“It has to be a community effort and as a community, we need to start taking responsibility and being our brother’s keeper and sharing as much information with the police as we can to make sure things like this don’t happen again.”
She said despite the circumstances there was a loss of life and the man killed was somebody's son.
“Whether it was an assailant or a victim, any life is precious, and I hope we can improve things as we go along. There are a number of initiatives with the police, with the Commissioner of Police and his forces.”