Police officer dies two days after setting himself on fire

Two days after he set himself on fire, SRP Gary Alexander has died.

Alexander, 62, of Jebodhsingh Trace, Fyzabad died during the early hours of Tuesday morning having sustained second degree burns to 90 per cent of his body.

During an interview yesterday, his daughter Shanice Alexander, 25, said they were awaiting the arrival of relatives from abroad before organizing Alexander's funeral.

Shanice expressed disappointment over a story in another newspaper (not the Guardian) which claimed that her father was sleeping in a car prior to his death and that he killed himself following a dispute over property.

"This is inaccurate. The report is so false and malicious. The report said that my brother Jacy and I are secondary school students. That is not true. We are 23 and 25 years old. The incident did not stem from a fight over property. He was never sleeping in his car," Shanice said, adding that she planned to initiate legal proceedings once the funeral was over.

Describing her relationship with her father as abusive, Shanice said he had a drinking problem and despite serving for years as a police officer he never received any help.

"Everybody talking now but nobody from the Police Service assisted him. Nobody ever rendered counselling to him and he needed it," she said.

Alexander's common-law wife Debbie Figaroo made numerous reports of abuse at the police station. On March 18, following a domestic dispute at their Jebodhsingh Avenue, Fyzabad home, Alexander was charged with two counts of assault, malicious damage and throwing a flammable liquid. 

Shanice said after that incident, promises were made to help Alexander, but this never materialized.

"My father was always abusive. Everyone knew this. When my mom left him he would always promise that he would do better but then things would change and go back to what it was before. His drinking problem was part of it but when the situation happened on Sunday he was not drunk. He did this when he was sober. When he drinks alcohol he used to get on but when he didn't drink he was quiet."

She denied social media reports that Alexander was wallowing in debt. She also denied that he killed their dog in a fit of rage, saying "we never even owned a dog."
Figaroo said the family wanted to grieve in peace.

"It is traumatic and this was how he wanted to go," Figaroo said.

Neighbour Desmond Alfred, said Alexander's family was terrified of him as he threatened to kill them on many occasions.

"I used to try and talk to him but he never listened," Alfred said.

The neighbour who witnessed the entire ordeal said he could not sleep since the incident. 

A party of police led by Sgt Felix and including PC Ceballo and Roshan of Oropouche Police Station visited the scene and are continuing investigations.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Radhica De Silva) 

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