Yesterday’s incident in which a carjacking suspect was shot dead by members of the T&T Police Service along Wrightson Road in Port-of-Spain, is another example of the state of decay in which the society finds itself in relation to crime.
Yet again, a criminal was so emboldened that he carjacked a vehicle owner, placed him in his car trunk and shot the victim after he escaped from the vehicle in Chaguaramas.
Fortunately, the driver still had his cell phone during the initial phase of the ordeal and was able to call the police, who were able to prepare for the suspect as he headed east in the stolen car.
As the police closed in on the suspect, however, what transpired at the corner or French Street and Wrightson Road could have come straight from a movie script. There was a shootout between the suspect and police, as the former abandoned the stolen vehicle, which crashed into a traffic light, before the suspect was eventually killed.
All of this occurred during what was still the early morning rush hour period at a busy intersection where several businesses operate and where the University of Trinidad and Tobago also has its campus. In fact, the suspect was felled by police bullets directly in front the campus.
In other words, yesterday’s incident had the propensity to go very wrong were it not for the accuracy of the responding officers’ shooting. Innocent bystanders walking out of business premises, or even the university compound, could have found themselves in the line of fire. Even motorists leaving nearby compounds or approaching the intersection could also have been victims of a stray bullet.
That aside, had the driver not had a cellphone yesterday, the reports today could have been of an entirely different nature. If we are to look at the pattern of incidents of such nature in recent times, it is likely that the carjacker may have killed his victim if he did not escape—meaning it was more likely that the driver would have been found dead a few days after being reported missing by his family. Indeed, the brazen-faced criminals of today see it as much easier to kill their victims rather than just taking whatever material proceeds they acquire during their relentless assaults on the citizenry. We are all aware of the phrase dead men tell no tales and the criminals have gone out of their way to ensure they fulfil this mantra. But while it is sad to say, even when the criminals are caught and taken before the courts, they also have the slow pace of T&T’s justice system working on their sides as well.
Still, yesterday’s incident points to the unfortunate state of affairs in T&T where a group of individuals in the minority continue to hold the majority of citizens to ransom with their criminal behaviour. This newspaper has used this space to call on law enforcement authorities and, by extension, whoever holds the position of Minister of National Security, to get their act together on dealing with the spiralling crime. In the wake of this latest incident, we again make that appeal, lest we have future scenarios like yesterday’s with different outcomes.