Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 7th 2015 Contents A5
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams has rejected criticism of the
police s response to a robbery at a bar in
Barrackpore last Friday, which left one
rookie policeman nursing gunshot wounds
Contacted yesterday, after CCTV footage
of the exchange between police and three
armed robbers at Vietnam Bar was repeat-
edly aired on the popular CrimeWatch pro-
gramme on CNC3 on Monday, Williams
refused to accept public criticism over the
police s handling of the situation, which
resulted in PC Kashyap Lochan being shot
in his stomach and the suspects escaping.
The video drew wide public criticism
after it was also posted on the Crime Watch
Facebook page and was reposted by several
users of the social media site.
Many of them complained about the
apparent poor response to the incident by
the police, including the fact that they
seemed to lack the proper training in how
to deal with such a situation.
Asked yesterday to explain why the police
were not wearing bullet-proof vests when
they responded to the scene, Williams
claimed that even with protective equipment
the outcome would have been the same.
"It only protects the chest area. Even if
he had put on a bulletproof vest the injury
would have still fallen below the protected
area," Williams said.
A defensive Williams also questioned the
validity of the criticism.
"You are missing the point. What hap-
pened here is police responded to the needs
of citizens and a criminal was brazen enough
to shoot deliberately at the police," he said.
Williams also rejected suggestions that
more experienced police should have been
ordered to respond to the robbery than
Lochan, who had entered the T&T Police
Service seven months ago.
"Criminals do not pick and choose based
on who is old, young or more experienced,"
Robbery response sparks Facebook criticism but...
action by rookies
A 23-year-old father of
two became this country s
13th murder victim when
he was gunned down at a
carwash on Railway Road,
St Joseph, yesterday.
Joshua Nipper was
ambushed and shot dead
while another man, Akim
Reid, sustained gunshot
wounds in full view of co-
workers, friends and cus-
tomers at around 1.45 pm.
The incident occurred just
over two hours after the
shooting death of a bandit
who, along with an accom-
plice, had just committed a
robbery at a roti shop oppo-
site Maritime Plaza,
In the later incident, Nip-
per was sitting under a tar-
paulin in the area where they
washed vehicles when a gold
Nissan Tiida pulled into
and shot at Nipper and Reid.
Nipper was hit several times
and died on the spot while
Reid was rushed to the near-
by Eric Williams Medical
Sciences Complex, Mt
Hope, where he underwent
Nipper, who was origi-
nally from Lopinot, had
been living in St Joseph for
a short period.
Both friends and relatives
claimed Nipper had received
threats the previous day
from a man they believe was
responsible for the shoot-
One relative of the victim,
who asked not to be iden-
tified due to the sensitive
nature of the case, believed
the person who threatened
Nipper either placed a hit
on him or committed the
Witnesses said they could
not positively identify the
shooter as his face was cov-
ered during the shooting.
However, the relative con-
firmed that Nipper was
aware his life was in danger
especially after the threat
that was made.
"He (the suspect) said
When I see you next, I will
kill you, and he said that in
the presence of others,"
according to the relative.
"This is complete injus-
A 23-year-old man
reported missing by
his relatives three
days ago was discov-
ered dead in an aban-
doned house in
Laventille on Monday.
Miguel Gaskin, a
security guard from
Sarah Lane, Laventille,
was found shot dead
by police in the aban-
doned Church Street
Gaskin s godmother, Lisa Huggins, told the T&T
Guardian he went missing on Saturday after helping
a neighbour paint his home.
"He was by his neighbour helping them paint.
I called him to give him a plaque to take to his
grandmother and that was the last time I saw him,"
Huggins said at the Forensic Science Centre, St
According to police reports, at about 5.30 pm on
Monday residents called them to report a foul stench
coming from the abandoned house. Upon inves-
tigating police discovered Gaskin s decomposing
body with visible gunshots.
Yesterday, Huggins described Gaskin as a loving
person who was always willing to help others.
She added: "Miguel was loud but he was loving
and nice. He was not that type of person to be
involved in anything (criminal activity).
"He just liked to lime and make jokes. It is shocking
that someone will want to kill him."
Huggins said before Gaskin went missing, two
men from the neighbourhood said a man was chasing
them down with a gun. However, she could not say
if that was related to Gaskin s case.
"On Saturday we heard firecrackers, followed
closely by gunshots. Then, I did not know what to
think," Huggins said.
Gaskin s mother died when he was a baby and
Huggins said his father was not involved in his life.
He was raised by his grandmother and aunts with
whom he resided until he went missing.
"His grandmother is in a state right now. She
loved that boy so much. He was a good youth. He
never interfered with anyone," Huggins said.
T&T Guardian visited Detour, Gaskin s former
place of employment, where a worker who asked
not to be named expressed shock at the man s death
and also stated he was friendly and kind.
"He was a really nice person. He was a lot of fun.
When we found out this morning the entire place
guard found dead
Carwash worker slain after threat Earlier, at around 11.30 am, the slain gunman, identified
as Kerman Andrews of Port-of-Spain, and a second
suspect, had just robbed a patron at a roti shop on Tenth
Avenue, Barataria, when, in attempting to escape, they
were confronted by two armed guards from a security
One of the guards opened fire on the bandits, hitting
Andrews, but his accomplice managed to escape in a
vehicle which was left idling nearby.
Police arrived soon after and cordoned off the area.
Acting Snr Supt Radcliffe Boxhill, who was at the scene,
said the second suspect escaped with "thousands in cash"
which he had taken from the patron at the shop.
A Jericho semi-automatic gun, believed to have been
used by Andrews, was recovered at the scene.
Boxhill said it appeared that the gunmen saw the
patron with a large sum of cash and used the opportunity
to rob him. He said nothing was taken from the roti shop.
GUARD KILLS BANDIT AFTER ROBBERY
Minister of National Security Gary Griffith, centre, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams, left, and Snr Supt Cecil Santana chat with PC Kashyap Lochan at the San
Fernando General Hospital on Monday. PHOTO COURTESY MINISTRY OF NATIONAL SECURITY
According to reports, around 10.30 pm last
Friday, Lochan, WPC Cholai and PC Sookoo, of
the Barrackpore Police Station, were on patrol
when they responded to a report of a
disturbance at the Vietnam Bar at New Colonial
Road, Barrackpore. They stopped in front of the
bar unaware that a robbery was in progress.
But inside the bar's gaming room, the bandits,
two of whom were masked, saw when the police
arrived on CCTV cameras and waited for them to
When Lochan approached the door to the
gaming room, police said, he was greeted by
gunfire. Lochan was shot in the abdomen and
left leg but he and his colleagues returned fire
and he managed to scramble back to their
The video, however, showed that Ramlochan
was alone as he kicked in the door to the bar and
was greeted by gunfire. After he was shot he
retreated into the street and his colleagues were
also forced to take cover as the bandits fired at
them. The police van and two other vehicles
were shot up during the attack. The bandits then
ran to the back of the building and escaped with
over $35,000 in cash, as well as cellphones,
jewelery and other valuables they stole from the
The issue of all police wearing bulletproof
vests while on duty has cropped up several
times in the past, most recently last year after
another police constable, Rondell Phillip, was
injured while responding to a robbery in St
Augustine on November 3.
In the aftermath, Acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams immediately issued an inter-
department directive making the use of the life-
saving vest mandatory.
"We continue to remind officers that
bulletproof vests are protective gear not to
penalise, but to protect them. So I will continue
to encourage them to use them when on duty,
as we never know when a situation will occur
when you can encounter a fire fight in the line of
"To that end, I have given a directive to all
divisional commanders that all officers who will
be operating on the field should wear their vests.
I see it as important that all officers, whilst on
duty, be fully prepared and protected," he said.
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