Security guard shot in Pennywise heist recovering, funerals take place for slain colleagues

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Crime scene investigators at the site where Allied Security guards Jeffery Peters and Jerry Staurt were killed, a a third guard, Peola Baptiste was injured, during the robbery at Pennywise Plaza, La Romaine on September 19. – File photo/Marvin Hamilton

Critically injured security guard Peola Baptiste continues her recovery, but her condition is still too delicate for her to be told of the deaths of her colleagues, Jeffery Peters and Jerry Stuart, killed in last month’s heist at Pennywise Plaza, La Romaine.

Baptiste’s daughter, Dianna Wellington, represented her at Stuart’s homecoming service at Belgrove’s Funeral Chapel, Tunapuna on Friday. She is expected to attend Peters’s farewell at Mt D’or Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church on Monday.

Wellington said her mother had to undergo emergency surgery to repair a damaged artery at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope.

While she is responsive, Wellington said she is not really speaking.

“I talk to her and I know she is hearing me. She would nod her head and stuff like that.

“What we want is for our mother to come out of the hospital. I know she will not come back the way she used to be, but I am confident she will come out alive,” she said.

Peola Baptiste –

“I have faith and nothing could waver that faith that she is coming out of there. I believe it and I am speaking it. All we are doing now is waiting and praying for that day.”

Baptiste, 57, was in the van with Peters, 51, and Stuart, 49, carrying out an in-transit deposit when they were ambushed on September 19.

Friends and relatives of all three Allied Security officers were scheduled to hold a candlelight vigil at the La Romaine site of the shooting on Saturday evening.

Police killed four of the six suspects involved in that robbery, but investigations are still continuing for others. The four young men, all from Fyzabad have been identified as Greg Dodough, Deaundre Montrose and brothers, Kyle and Keyon Ramdhan. There were reports that Dodough’s funeral took place in Fyzabad on Saturday.

Four other men held during a police manhunt – Christopher Noreiga, 24, and Brent Walcott, 23, both of Ballantyne Street, Five Rivers, Arouca – were denied bail when they reappeared before Senior Magistrate Armina Deonarinesingh on Thursday.

Deonarinesingh upheld the objection to bail by court prosecutor Sgt Harold Ishmael on the grounds that the AR-15 rifles they were allegedly held with, were prohibited weapons and capable of causing death on a large scale. Ishmael drew reference to similar type weapons used in the Pennywise heist.

The magistrate advised Walcott and Noreiga to apply to a judge in chambers for bail.

Jeffery Peters –

Noreiga and Walcott are facing charges for being in possession of the two rifles, three magazines and 38 rounds of ammunition for trafficking.

Two other men who was also held during police investigations – Rennico Khan, 32, of Midas Lane, Corinth Hill Extension, Ste Madeleine and Kemo Mc Sween, 26, of Union Hall, San Fernando – are also facing possession of arms and ammunition charges.

Khan also faces another charge of resisting arrest.

Allister Harris, 47, a security guard employed with another company, providing security at the La Romaine compound, was also shot. He was treated and discharged.

During a high-speed chase to La Romaine where the four suspects were cornered and killed during a shootout with the police, a nine-year-old boy, who was travelling in a vehicle occupied by his mother and three siblings, was shot in the face.

That matter is now the subject of an investigation by the Police Complaints Authority (PCA).

Director David West told the Newsday the PCA has initiated an investigation after the child’s father, Dwayne Asson reported suspicion that it may have been a police bullet with grazed his son’s face.

The child had to undergo surgery and is recovering at San Fernando General Hospital.

West said all ballistic tests of the bullets from the scene of the robbery and the police-involved killing will form part of the PCA’s investigation.