CMC PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – A 34-year-old policeman is due to appear in court virtually later on Wednesday after he was charged in connection with the December 17 murder of two relatives at the Courts Mega Store car park in San Juan, on the outskirts of the capital.
In a statement, the police said that Sidney Roberts, who was last attached to the Homicide Bureau of Investigations (HBI), was charged on Christmas Day with the murders of siblings Simeon Lessey, 33, and Siniaya Lessey, 35, and with shooting with intent to do grievous bodily harm of another man.
It said Roberts was arrested in an exercise conducted by officers of the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) and was later charged with the offences following advice received on Christmas Day from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard, SC.
The enquiry was bolstered by officers of the PSB, the Research Analytical Unit and Legal Officer Ramjag of the HBI Region II.
According to police reports, just after midday on December 17, several police units responded to reports of loud explosions at the Courts Mega Store car park.
Upon arrival at the scene, first responders met an off-duty police officer and observed several people lying on the ground nursing injuries.
Two of the injured people succumbed to their injuries while others were taken for medical treatment at hospital, the police statement added.
The mother of the two people killed, Abigail John, told reporters that the group went to meet someone who had promised them items at a reduced price at the store.
She said the siblings had already paid for the items but found the transaction suspicious and wanted to cancel it.
John said her daughter reported the initial transaction to the police and planned to meet with the person at Courts Mega Store’s car park to get the money back.
The police said that initial investigations revealed the off-duty officer fired his licensed gun, killing Simeon and Sinaaya Lessey and injuring the other three people.
Since the incident, the National Security Council (NSC) called for an immediate review of the relevant laws, regulations, and practices, surrounding certain aspects of the operations of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) following the police-involved shooting incident at Courts Mega Store car park.
A statement issued by the Ministry of National Security said the decision to review the TTPS operations followed an extra-ordinary meeting of the NSC that was chaired by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and attended by Commissioner of Police, Erla Harewood-Christopher as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice-Marshall, Darryl Daniel.