Robbery survivor’s relatives ask for blood donations

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Peola Baptiste –

The daughter of the woman who survived Monday’s deadly robbery in La Romaine has called on the public to donate blood to help save her life.

Peola Baptiste, 57, of Claxton Bay, has gunshot wounds to her head, chest, abdomen, and arms. The mother of six and grandmother of four is employed with Allied Security Ltd as an estate police officer.

Baptiste’s daughter Dianna Wellington told Newsday: “People have been donating. The blood type people give does not matter because when they donate, the staff will use blood from the blood bank. The blood people would replenish the bank.”

“Mum is still in critical condition. But she is responsive. She is not talking, but when we speak to her, she nods her head. She lost a lot of blood.”

Baptiste has about 20 years’ service. Two of her colleagues, Jeffery Peters, 51, and Jerry “Bat” Stuart, 49, died in the attack. Five gunmen ambushed and shot the three while driving out of Pennywise Plaza in La Romaine in a van.

She was in the back seat behind the driver, Wellington said.

Baptiste was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital and later transferred to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mount Hope.

When Newsday visited the family’s home, a male relative said other relatives were visiting Baptiste at the hospital.

Four of the suspected bandits were shot and killed in the La Romaine area after a shootout with the police. They lived in Fyzabad.

The police later arrested three men, including a member of the TT Regiment who is based at the La Romaine army base.

A statement from Allied Security Ltd on Monday night said the “Allied family” lost two dedicated veteran officers with a third in critical condition.

“This traumatic event has left the Allied family shattered and grieving. We truly appreciate the outpouring of support for the victims’ families and our family,” the statement said.

“We continue to evaluate this situation with the focus on the victims’ families. We wish to extend our deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones.”

The police said a fourth security guard, Allister Harris, 47, who works with Phoenix Protective Services at the plaza was also hit. He received minor injuries and was treated and discharged from the hospital on Monday.