Police were forced to keep a presence at Beetham Gardens, Laventille, last night, to quell further possible protests from residents over the shooting death of Christopher Greaves.Greaves, 25, died at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital last evening after he was shot by police earlier in the day.In response to his death, residents staged fiery protests along the Eastern Main Road and Beetham Highway, claiming the police could have saved his life if they had allowed residents to assist him immediately after he was shot.At one stage yesterday, police and the residents were involved in a cat-and-mouse game. Soon after police cleared debris from the roadway, residents returned to pile more, creating a traffic jam in the process.
The police eventually diverted traffic to the Priority Bus Route to ensure the safety of motorists.As is often the case with such shooting incidents, there are two sides to yesterday's story.
The residents claimed that Greaves, of Fifth Street, had gone to a parlour on Third Street around 4.45 pm to buy a snack for one of his children.However, while on his way there, residents claimed officers on patrol in the community allegedly opened fire on him. Greaves reportedly ran a short distance before collapsing in a nearby alley.Residents claimed, however, that the police did not allow them to give any assistance to Greaves, as he lay bleeding on the ground and crying for help for almost half an hour.Eventually, the police picked Greaves up and took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.Residents last night demanded justice, saying Greaves had no criminal record.
According to the police, however, around 4.45 pm, Greaves was walking on Third Street when officers on patrol noticed he had a firearm in his possession.The officers challenged him and Greaves opened fire on the police. The police returned fire and Greaves was shot. The officers said they eventually took Greaves to hospital.An hour later, residents staged a protest by throwing garbage and debris on the Beetham Highway. Senior officers at the scene said many attempts were made to remove the debris, but residents kept putting more debris back each time it was cleared.As a result of this, officers said motorists were diverted to PBR and Eastern Main Road for their own safety.Investigations are continuing.