Gunmen storm Port of Spain Hospital to ‘finish job’ – 4 dead, others hurt

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A shooting at the Port of Spain General Hospital accident and emergency department left 3 dead and others wounded. – Photo by Faith Ayoung

POLICE say a reward will be offered for information leading to the arrests of those responsible for a shooting at the Port of Spain General Hospital (PoSGH) in the night on June 2 which left four people dead.

Reports say a group of men were liming near a school in Gonzales, Belmont after playing football when gunmen approached and began shooting, leaving one man dead and several others injured.

The injured men were taken to the PoSGH but when they arrived, masked gunmen got out of a car that had been following them and began shooting at them again.

Three more men were killed at the hospital.

Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds and head of the police Homicide Bureau Snr Supt Rishi Singh spoke with the media outside the hospital afterwards.

Singh said the shooting was gang-related.

Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds and head of the police homicide bureau Snr Supt Rishi Singh speak to the media after a shooting at the Port of Spain General Hospital left 4 dead and 4 others wounded. – Photo by Jeff K Mayers

He said Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher gave the green light for a reward for information leading to an arrest, the amount of which will be disclosed sometime on June 3.

Hinds said the shooting was targeted and no hospital staff or members of the public were injured.

“Fortunately, no one other than persons who were brought here from the original crime scene would have been further injured at the hospital. So we were relieved of the burden of additional persons as innocent bystanders being caught up.”

He also compared gangs to guerrilla fighters and said the public has to denounce their presence in communities.

“Just as a guerrilla force cannot operate in a locality without the support, the acquiescence, or at least the turning of a blind eye on the part of a community, I also believe that criminals, of the type we are discussing now, cannot function in a community unless there is some level of cringing in fear and turning of a blind eye.

“If the people really want to deal with this matter, they will, in their own interest, act in certain ways.”

He said he understood people’s fears, as there are things the government and the judiciary can improve, but in the meanwhile, people must speak up.

“If you tell a police officer of a gun in your neighbourhood, knowing that gun has the potential to create the mayhem we saw today, then I am confident every minute of every day the police are busy pursuing illegal firearms.

“We all have a responsibility in this and we must all do (our part) and (with) all of us doing it better, we might be able to get a better handle on what is happening here.”