Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith is today defending his police officers who were responsible for shooting and killing 19-year-old Rochyon King Ashterman and a female who had been seated in the passenger’s seat. She has been identified as Kristan Kerri Serries and is said to have been pregnant. The two were shot by SORT officers at La Canoa extension, Lower Santa Cruz.
Police reports state that at around 9:25pm on Friday, officers conducting an exercise in the area, attempted to stop the vehicle in which the pair were occupants. They said the driver, King Achterman, fired shots at them and they returned fire, shooting both the young man and woman.
Police reports further state that officers were fired upon by a man hiding in some nearby bushes however the perpetrator evaded them, despite their return of gunfire. One officer was shot in the leg, while a man who was seated at a nearby bar was struck in the shoulder, police said.
The four people were taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex where the driver and his female passenger were pronounced dead.
In a reactionary comment to the situation, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said, “it is amazing that residents always have bionic eyes, when the police are defending their lives against imminent threats, but of the 340 plus persons killed this year, for some in that same area, with the same bionic eyes, they conveniently wear blinkers and see nothing nor do they seem to be concerned, because you never hear their voices when gang members kill innocent persons.”
Commissioner Griffith further said a police officer was shot during the incident, adding, “and the pathetic excuses by these convenient sympathizers, in areas where police are fired upon and respond by returning fire to defend themselves, are boring now.”
He asked: “What would they claim? Did the officer shoot himself to find an excuse to fire back? No! The officer was shot at. They tried to kill him. For those who refer to the victims as “innocent” people, this says a lot about these sympathizers’ character.”
“Anyone who aims a weapon or shoots at my officers, they have my full support and directive to do what is required to neutralize the threat and they did. Does the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service need to be thankful that criminal elements fired first, and actually injured an officer and damage their vehicle to justify my officers returning fire? The answer is no,” he ended.
The young man killed in the Santa Cruz incident is said to be the son of radio personality, Rodney ‘Fireball’ King. He told one news agency that his son had borrowed the vehicle.