Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 25th 2017 Contents A8 news
guardian.co.tt Saturday, March 25, 2017
Rio Claro father killed
in shootout with cops
Relatives of Junior Paul Smith, who
was shot dead on Thursday night, are
expected to approach the Police Com-
plaints Authority (PCA) after claiming
that he was murdered by police.
Smith, 42, a construction labourer of
Piparo Road, Piparo, was shot several times
by police officers along the Guaracara/Tab-
aquite Road, Rio Claro on Thursday night
as officers were out pursuing suspects in a
robbery. When contacted yesterday, several
officers from the Rio Claro Police Station
were in a meeting with investigators from
the Professional Standards Bureau. Head
of the Eastern Division acting Senior Supt
Garth Nelson said he was still awaiting
conclusive information on the incident.
Nelson confirmed that there were two
shooting incidents involving police in an
area referred to as the "Teak." He said one
man was fatally shot and is yet to be pos-
At relatives' home in Tabaquite yester-
day, Smith's brother Clevon, 34, said he
was not involved in any robbery and was
only giving his friend a drop to Rio Claro.
He explained that upon reaching the lonely
teak field around 7 pm, they passed a vehi-
cle parked alongside a lonely road. He said
while driving, the vehicles drove behind
and the occupants opened fire on his Nissan
AD Wagon. After driving a short distance
away, he and his friends ran into the bushes
and hid while the gunmen chased.
"They didn't identify themselves as po-
lice, they just started shooting up at my
car while I was driving. They could have
killed me right there so we just got out and
ran into the bushes. They still shot at me
while I was running so I know they were
trying to kill me. I didn't get a chance to
see if it was the police, it was only when I
came out that I heard that it was police,"
Afraid in the forest, he said he called his
brother for help. At the time Smith was at
home with his wife and two children. When
it was close to midnight, Clevon said he
heard gunshots firing and then someone
brother screaming out, "Don't shoot me.,"
A single gunshot followed and there was
silence. He said they began walking through
the bushes and eventually a neighbour
picked them up.
"The last time he called me was around
12 o'clock and I was trying to call him back
to tell him that I would walk to the roadside
but he didn't answer. This morning around
7 o'clock I got to find out that he was dead.
I didn't know they killed him. They killed
my brother for nothing. He was innocent."
Unaware of Smith's demise, their father,
Andrew went to the Rio Claro Police Sta-
tion to make a report of the incident. It was
there, he said, that the police informed him
that they had shot Smith and that his body
was taken to the Forensic Science Centre,
St James. Another relatives said that the
police claimed that he came to the scene
and when they told him to leave, he shot
at them and they returned fire.
Smith's sister, Vanessa, said their family
is lost as to why he was killed, questioning
what gun could the police produce to show
that there was a shootout. She said all he
did was to go try to help his brother. "We
will have to write to the Police Complaints
Authority for an investigation into what
really happened. I don't know my brother
meet his brother and that was it. Nothing
is adding up at all." Vanessa said.
Cop in Moruga fatal
The Special Branch officer
who shot and killed Miguel
Rodriguez during an incident in
Moruga last week Saturday has
been released from custody
pending further investigations.
Sources said the police corporal
attached to the Prime Minister's
security detail was allowed to leave
the police station on Thursday.
Upon submitting their file to Di-
rector of Public Prosecutions,
investigators were instructed to
release the officer and conduct
further investigations into the
Initial reports stated that around
2.20 am the officer was lim-
ing at Woodstock Bar at Indian
Walk, Moruga when he was alert-
ed about Rodriguez, 24, striking
his vehicle which was parked a
short distance away. The officer,
according to the report, confronted
Rodriguez and they began arguing.
Rodriguez's brother, Sarran
Thomas, 29, then intervened,
and according to the report began
beating the officer. The officer
claimed he became afraid for his
life and discharged his gun. He fired
15 rounds of ammunition, hitting
Thomas once in the arm.
Rodriguez of Fifth Com-
pany, Moruga, was shot six
times and died at the hospital.
Rodriguez's other, brother Allis-
ter, who witnessed the incident,
admitted his brother was hitting
the car. He said his brother had
been drinking and thought he left
his bag and food in that car. How-
ever, he denied that his brothers
attacked the officer and were beat-
Allister claimed the officer had
no reason to draw his weapon and
shoot his brothers.
His family has been advised by
their attorneys not to do any fur-
ther interviews with the media.
Miguel Rodriguez, shot dead.
Links Archive March 24th 2017 March 26th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page