Teenager killed by police officers in Morvant encounter

17-year-old boy was declared dead after becoming a victim of a shooting by police officers during an encounter in Morvant on 25 May.

Teenager killed by police officers in Morvant encounter. Image Credit: NKTV
Teenager killed by police officers in Morvant encounter. Image Credit: NKTV

Trinidad and Tobago: A 17-year-old boy was declared dead after becoming a victim of a shooting by police officers during an encounter in Morvant, San Juan. The teenager was one among the four suspects who were intercepted by the police officers on the evening of Saturday, 25 May, around 05:20 pm.

The deceased teenage boy who lost his life in a police encounter in Morvant is identified as Jeremy Baptiste. Morvant is a community of San Juan. The boy was a resident of a neighbourhood along La Hoe Road in Febeau Village of San Juan, a town located on the northwestern side of Trinidad Island.

As per the information, the act of encounter in Morvant took place on the day when a party of police officers was on regular patrol in the region. The officers were from the Port of Spain Task Force including PC Khamchan, PC Perez, and CPL Omardath. The officers on duty spotted a suspicious motor vehicle of white colour, registered PCH 2039, speeding along Picton Traffic Lights.

At nearly 05:20 pm, after observing the suspicious motor vehicle, the police officers followed its path which led to a chase. After chasing the car for a distance the officers intercepted along the Lady Young Road the vehicle in the way and approached the occupants sitting inside. The car was occupied by four individuals whom lawmen ordered to cooperate.

Reportedly, the four individuals were carrying lethal weapons with them with which they got armed. The four suspects emerged out of the vehicle with guns in their hands which they pointed towards the on-duty police officers in the locality of Morvant near Bottle Alley. The action of the suspects made officers fearful for their lives, in response to which, lawmen also got armed with their service weapon.

The situation led to the encounter in the locality of Morvant community, which also involved the victim teenager of the side of the suspects. The the counter shooting the suspects ran into the bushes nearby during which the teenager got shot by the bullets fired from the side of police officers.

It is mentioned that the teenager sustained injuries on his chest which became the reason for his death. The teenage boy collapsed on the site with his gunshot wounds. Straight after, the shooting was relaxed and the police officers seized the area to protect the relevant evidence on the site. The officers found the teenager lying on the ground and bleeding from his wounds.

Immediately, the injured boy was assisted and taken to the Port of Spain General Hospital under observation. In the hospital, the injured teenager was helped by the medical staff, however, he was declared lifeless by the on-duty doctor. The officers involved in the Morvant encounter collected a gun with a handle of wood from the spot where the teenager collapsed.

Eventually, the information about the encounter in the area of Morvant was passed to the authorities after which the investigation was launched. The investigating officers found used shells of the 5.56 mm from the site. It is said that the police department also allegedly recovered an amount of marijuana and other drugs. The investigation is ongoing to find the root cause of the incident and follow the related stories to the incident to trace the reality.