A prison officer who walked into a robbery at a Chinese supermarket in Arouca attempted to run away but was chased down by one of the armed thieves.
A passing colleague saw what was happening and in aid of the fleeing officer, took out his firearm and shot the assailant.
The bandit’s three accomplices, one of whom is 16 years old, subsequently surrendered to the prison officers.
The wounded man was taken to hospital but died while undergoing treatment. Police said up to last evening the dead bandit remained unidentified.
According to a police report, at about 8 pm a prison officer, who had just completed his shift, went to Jun Lin’s Chinese Supermarket, located at the corner of the Old Golden Grove Road and Sawmill Street, which is within earshot of the Golden Grove Prison, to make a purchase.
When he walked in the officer realised there was a robbery in progress and attempted to sneak back out of the establishment.
It was at this point that he was spotted and chased after by one of the four bandits.
As the bandit pursued the prison officer he fired at him.
The officer’s colleague, who was passing by at the same time, stopped to help and drew his weapon.
On seeing this the bandit fired at him and he returned fire, hitting the bandit several times about his body.
The three accomplices, who surrendered right after their cohort was shot, were then bound with tie-straps which one of the officers had in their possession and handed over to the police.
A team of officers from the Arouca Police Station, led by Inspector Greene, visited the scene and conducted inquiries. Several spent shells were recovered from the scene.
The two prison officers were not hurt in the incident.
Yesterday they came in for high commendation from Prisons Commissioner Gerard Wilson.
“I would like to commend these officers for their bravery and assistance in capturing these bandits under very trying and dangerous circumstances. I applaud their efforts and the will be rewarded appropriately,” Wilson said.
The officers were also praised by Prisons Officers Association president Ceron Richards.
“These two officers risked their lives and limbs and were able to apprehend the perpetrators. They must be commended for their alertness and the way in which they handled the situation,” Richards said.
Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat