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Police officers on the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway, Couva after the shootout between police and bandits, yesterday.

RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

A shootout between police and bandits on the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway near the Couva hospital has resulted in the death of one man while another escaped.

The drama unfolded amid traffic around 3.45 pm and left some motorists traumatised.

One person described it as “like an action movie.”

According to police, members of the Central Division Gang Unit were on enquiries at the surveillance point located on the highway near the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility when they moved to intercept a stolen vehicle with two occupants in the vicinity of the Indian Trail flyover.

Police said the two occupants alighted and allegedly fired at the police officers before attempting to run away.

The officers gave chase and returned fire and struck one of the suspects, who was taken to the Couva Health Facility and pronounced dead on arrival.

The dead suspect is yet to be identified.

Video captured by a commuter showed a man crossing the grassy divide of the highway’s north and south lanes, before running along the roadway as he tried to escape.

The video then showed a police officer moving through the traffic with his gun pointed in the direction of the man. Those in the car said they had earlier heard gunshots.

Police launched a search for the man as he ran into some bushes off the southbound lane of the highway.

The search included the use of drones and then a helicopter.

An officer on the scene told Guardian Media that a Toyota Fielder wagon was stolen from Union Hall and officers acting on the report pursued the bandits in the stolen vehicle on highway to Indian trail where officers of the Central Division Gang Unit and Central Division Task Force were waiting at the police point.

“The officers spotted the stolen vehicle proceeding along the northbound lane and as the vehicle was approaching them the officers attempted to intercept. That’s when all hell break loose,” the officer said.

“The men stopped the vehicle suddenly on the police and began shooting at them and attempted to run away from the scene in an attempt to escape from the officers. The police gave chase and opened fire shooting one of them. The other man ran into the bushes up and over one of those small hills,” the officer added.

The incident caused a backup of traffic on both lanes and several motorists and their passengers left in shock.

Guardian Media understands that security was also heightened at the Couva Hospital which houses critical COVID-19 patients.

The search for the escaped suspect went well into Monday night.