The investigation into the triple police killing in Second Caledonia, Morvant which occurred just over a year ago took a dramatic turn last week when investigators did a complete re-enactment of the scene.
Police blocked off the entrance to Juman Drive from Lady Young Road and the exit at Second Caledonia Road for almost six hours as investigators painstakingly recreated the events in which three residents Joel Jacobs, Noel Diamond and Israel Moses Clinton were killed instantly in a hail of gunfire on June 27, 2020.
The event churned up emotions among residents who peered through windows, banana patches, banisters as crime scene unit detectives followed the instruction of the lead investigator Supt Wayne Abbott's every detail.
Police said the objective of the recreation of the incident was to allow investigators to get a first-hand perspective of what actually happened during the incident as well as to determine whether the level of threat the officers claimed they faced when seven of them fired their weapons was justifiable for them to respond.
Senior officers said the recall a similar exercise was done by homicide investigators in 2011 in the case where six police officers are accused of killing a man and two woman in Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore.
In that matter, acting Sgt Khemraj Sahadeo and PCs Renaldo Reviero, Glenn Singh, Roger Nicholas, Safraz Juman and Antonio Ramadin were charged for murder and one of the colleagues WPC Nicole Clement cut a deal with the State to testify against them.
Abbott, a seasoned narcotics officer , was hand-picked to probe the fatal police shooting by the upper command of the police service after the incident ignited a wave of outrage and claims of extra-judicial killings, arrived on the scene with ASP Persad, both of the southern division around 2 pm on July 29.
Teams of other officers including from various other units, including the Homicide Bureau, the Special Investigations Unit, Cybercrime Unit, followed and residents were asked to remove cars parked on the roadway near the area where 18 officers, assigned to the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Guard and Emergency Branch, travelling in four jeeps had stopped a gold-coloured Nissan Tiida shortly after 2 pm, on June 27, 2020.
About an hour later, one of five officers who was among the team, which intercepted the Tiida, was brought to the scene from the Lady Young entrance and like his colleagues directed Abbott and his team as to where the police vehicles had parked when they stopped the car.
On each of the four occasions, investigators recreated the events according to the witness and took measurements from the side of the road to parked police jeep and the nearest light poles. They were brought to the scene separately and on each occasion two of the jeeps and the Tiida were driven and parked according to their recollection.
According to the account of the officers, two jeeps stopped ahead of the Tiida, which pulled to the left and stopped near the Auto Guru building, near two blue plastic barrels overspilling with garbage but just before a hump running across the road.
Sterling and Carol Jacobs, the parents of Joel Jacobs who was celebrating his 38th birthday on the day he was killed, looked on at the recreation of the crime scene from their porch. Their neighbour, Priscilla Brooks, 75, whose son was also killed that day, came over to the Jacobs' residence for part of the day to observe the police exercise.
The Jacobs along with two other people also separately directed Abbott and his team about what they saw that day.
A woman, dressed in a tight-fitting mini denim dress with multi-coloured braids, who was allowed to drop off an elderly woman in the house just before the crime scene damaged both her front and rear bumpers of her Tiida as she tried to leave.
Police assisted in placing boulders and bricks to elevate the car for her to get out. Other residents were allowed to walk home in intervals as dusk approached.
But the longest session took place, lasting over two hours, when officers using the video footage of the incident captured on the day of the incident manoeuvred the four jeeps, used by the 18 officers in June 2020, to almost the identical position they were in down to the smallest detail, including the angle of the tyre, how wide the doors were opened and how close they were parked to each other.
Investigators said the exercise, while not common, will aid them immeasurably as the investigation moves into its final stages.
At 8.38 pm, Abbott and his team left Second Caledonia, just as they came but by that time it was nearing the curfew hour of 9 pm and residents were all huddled in their homes.