PRISONS officers are calling for a transparent investigation into the killing of their colleague at the hands of police in what police said was a shootout.
According to police reports, Joel Ramsundar, a former soldier who became a prisons officer six years ago, was at his John Street, Chaguanas home when Central Division’s Gang Intelligence Unit officers came searching for arms and ammunition.
Police said they were shot at when they entered the home and returned fire, killing Ramsundar and Alejandro Gonzales. The shooting took place at about 4.30 pm on Wednesday.
Ramsundar, who was assigned to the Maximum Security Prison, had to be relocated after his home was shot at a few years ago. He was then assigned to the Remand Yard.
Ramsundar was issued with a service weapon. Police said two guns were found at the scene of the shooting, one of them the licensed one issued to Ramsundar.
One of Ramsundar’s colleagues questioned if police adhered to all necessary protocols as Ramsundar, like other prison officers, would have been on high alert, since two prisons officers were killed recently.
He told Newsday that after the killing of Sherwin Francis, shot at his dinner table on September 18, then the killing of Stephon Richardson, shot outside a Moruga church on October 4, Ramsundar was “naturally cautious.”
“If they had a warrant, how come they didn’t know that they were going to the home of a prisons officer?” the officer asked.
Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan, when contacted, said he had heard of the incident but was still awaiting more information.
He said all he heard was that his officer was “liming with some people and got shot.” Asked if Ramsundar was ever suspected of being involved in crimie, Pulchan said no.
During the shootout, police said, one officer was shot in the abdomen and two others grazed on their calves. They were taken to hospital for treatment.
The double police killing was the second for the day after a Santa Cruz man was declared dead at hospital after a confrontation with police. Police reported that around 3.45 am on Wednesday, members of the North-Eastern Division Task Force went to Shaquille Morris’s Santa Cruz home to arrest him for gun possession.
As they neared his home they were shot at and returned fire. Morris was shot and taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, where doctors said he had died.
Both incidents are being investigated by the Police Complaints Authority.