5 witnesses to Cobbler’s killing

January 7
OFFICERS investigating the police killing of Tristan Cobbler have so far received statements from five Laventille residents who claimed to have seen the shooting, acting Commissioner of Police James Philbert said yesterday.

Speaking to members of the media following a presentation ceremony for officers of the Community Crime Prevention Unit at the Police Administration building on Edward Street, Port of Spain, Philbert said he expected to receive many more statements, considering the number of people who claimed to have witnessed the incident.

Cobbler, 23, was shot dead at Mentor Alley in Laventille by officers of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) on Sunday morning.

However, there are differing versions to the circumstances leading to Cobbler’s death.

Police reports are that around 5.45 a.m., officers were conducting routine patrols when they spotted two men acting suspiciously. The men shot at the police, who returned fire and killed Cobbler.

However, Laventille residents, who staged fiery protests over the killing, claimed the men were unarmed when they were shot at.

The IATF officers involved in the shooting are currently being counselled to cope with the situation, Philbert said yesterday. One of the officers is now on leave, but it is uncertain whether that time off was approved before Sunday’s shooting, he said.

Yesterday, Philbert also indicated that the police service would offer counselling services to Cobbler’s family to help them deal with the deaths.
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