Man killed in police shootout

July 24

The dead man has been identified as Sterling Mackonen Diaz of Lodge Place. Diaz killing was recorded as the 18th police killing for the year thus far. It is alleged that Diaz was shot 17 times. Police claim Diaz was a suspect in a two homicides in the Morvant area.

According to a police report, at about 7.50 pm a party of officers from the High Performance Team under Cpl Samuel and also from the North Eastern Task Force under Cpl Darryl La Pierre were on mobile patrol along Gerbera Street Extension when they observed four men acting in a suspicious manner.

The report stated the officers attempted to approach the men when one of them started shooting. The officers returned gunfire and when the smoke cleared, Diaz was on the ground bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. The other men escaped. Police said a nine-millimetre semi-automatic pistol was seized at the scene.

Diaz was taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital by the officers where he later succumbed to his injuries. Yesterday, at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, Diaz mother Sherry Dan said she was told by residents that Diaz was ambushed by police and shot to death.

She admitted not having all the details and added that she was yet to be informed by police as to what occurred.

A relative, who wished not to give her name said Diaz was the father of a two-year-old boy and worked as a manager at Francis Plaza in Chaguanas. She admitted that Diaz had a few pending matters before the courts.

“He was an incredible father. He provided for his son and family one hundred percent. He will surely be missed by the people whom he knew,” the relative said.

Dan said her son was a member of the religious group Twelve Tribes of Israel and was looking to celebrate the group’s Christmas Day on July 23. She added that he was looking forward to sharing presents to the children of the area and attend the Tribe’s annual Christmas Party and Dance at the Belmont Community Centre.

“We will go ahead and give out the presents to the children because they are looking forward to it. Today (yesterday) is a sad day for us and our Christmas Day will be a sad one,” Dan said.

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