Police accidentally shoot man during search

Police cars on a crime scene. - File photo by Jeff K Mayers
Police cars on a crime scene. - File photo by Jeff K Mayers

A man who was being searched by police in St Ann’s on March 13 had to be taken to hospital after he was accidentally shot by officers.

In a media release on March 14, police said at 6.45 pm on March 13, officers responded to a report of a group of men armed with guns close to a bar along St Ann’s Road.

Police arrived and searched three male suspects and during the search, a 40-year-old farmer was allegedly found with a gun and ammunition.

He was arrested and taken to the Besson Street Police Station. Franklyn Etienne was charged with possession of a Luger Pistol with 17 rounds of nine-millimetre ammunition and will appear before a Master of the High Court on March 15 to answer charges of possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.

Police said in a separate incident near that arrest, another man, with no connection with the other group, was shot in his left ankle by police in an accidental discharge.

The police took the injured man to hospital.

CCTV footage of the incident showed police pulling alongside the victim and two other men as they stood on the pavement before placing them against a wall and searching them.

During the search, the officers are seen jumping away from the victim, who then holds his foot and begins hopping about.

Officers then helped the man cross the road and into the tray of a police van.

It is unclear why the man and his two friends were searched.

A time stamp on the CCTV footage showed the victim was shot at around 6.21 pm, almost 25 minutes before police say they held the farmer.

Snr Supt Harripersad Ram- narine of the Port of Spain Division wished the injured man a speedy recovery and said officers would conduct regular welfare checks and visits throughout his recovery period.

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