Cops failed to intervene says shooting victim

Date: 
Monday, January 16, 2017 - 07:45

Panicked after a gunman shot his teenaged brother and then fired at him, a horrified Nathaniel Roberts saw a ray of hope when a marked police car came up towards them on a dark empty street in San Fernando on Saturday.

But instead of turning on the siren and attempting to apprehend the gunman, Roberts said the two police officers stayed in the vehicle almost as if they were afraid to respond to the gunfire, while the gunman and his friend fled through a track near Rushworth Street.

Roberts’ brother Anfernie Hamilton, 19, of Sunflower Avenue, Pleasantville died from the bullet which severed a main artery in his left leg. Up to late yesterday, police were searching for two suspects from San Fernando.

During an interview yesterday, Roberts and his mother Phillipa Ancilla -Roberts called on acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to investigate why the officers failed to assist the brothers.

Saying Hamilton’s life could have been spared if the police had acted swiftly, Roberts said he was hurt and disappointed by the poor response.

“The police saw the man shooting at us and I had to pelt a cup to defend my brother while he lay bleeding on the ground.  The police stood there looking on. The gunman was backing back towards the police vehicle and shooting and when he realised the police was there they ran down a track behind a Chinee shop on Rushworth Street,” Roberts said.

Recalling the incident, Roberts said they were liming at a bar with three girls when a man whom he knew came up to him and deliberately bounced him on the shoulder. 

“I knew him because he lives by my child mother but he and I don’t have anything. Whatever disagreement we had four years ago, we patch that up. Those fellas were drinking and the alcohol was in their head so they were looking for bacchanal thing because they had their piece (gun) on them,” Roberts said. 

To avoid a confrontation, Roberts said he advised his younger brother to leave the bar and they started walking up Cipero Street. The assailant and his friend followed and Roberts said he began telling the man to “stop drinking and getting on wild.”

Instead of listening to his pleas, Roberts said the man jump kicked Hamilton and a scuffle broke out following which he shot Hamilton at point blank range on the leg just after the police car drove up the street. Standing over him, the gunman then attempted to fire another shot but Roberts said he threw a cup at the man, hoping that the police would save them.

Hamilton’s mother Phillipa said he left the Pleasantville Secondary School in July last year and was studying welding at Metal Industries Company (MIC). He planned to do electrical engineering at the National Energy Skills Centre, Phillipa added.

 “He was never living a bad life and he did not deserve this. He wanted to make something of himself. He was my baby and before he went to the party I warned him to be careful,” Phillipa revealed. 

An autopsy will be done on Hamilton’s body today at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.

"The police saw the man shooting at us and I had to pelt a cup to defend my brother while he lay bleeding on the ground.  The police stood there looking on."

SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Radhica Sookraj)

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