The man arrested and charged in connection with the shooting incident in which the driver and daughter of the Deputy Prisons Commissioner Sherwyn Bruce were the targets and injured recently in Barataria has died under what has been described as mysterious circumstances and his family wants answers.
The family of Emmanuel Joseph is demanding to know how the 22-year-old died suddenly from cardiac arrest. Police reports stated that Joseph, who was remanded to the Eastern Correctional Rehabilitation Centre on Thursday, reported feeling unwell at 9 p.m., on Friday. The report also stated that on the evening of October 11, Joseph was at a health facility for gunshot injuries stemming from the incident under police guard.
He appeared in court on Thursday and Friday night, he was pronounced dead at 10:30 after being examined by Doctor Bootoor. The cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) has launched an investigation to determine how he died.
Acting Prisons Commissioner Deopersad Ramoutar has also launched an investigation but indicated: “From reports, there are no incidents or signs of violence so, police are involved, and investigations are ongoing, I can’t say anything much, everything is fresh and as I said, investigations ongoing”.
The original incident that saw Joseph’s arrest occurred on October 11, when the Deputy Prisons Commissioner was about to enter an unmarked prison vehicle which was a white Toyota Fortuner, driven by Prison Officer Phipps, which was parked in front of his house. At that time two masked men armed with firearms alighted from a white Toyota Axio motor vehicle and opened fire on them. Phipps and Bruce’s 12-year-old daughter, who was in the vehicle and was injured, were subsequently taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex for medical attention. Phipps was shot in the torso and underwent emergency surgery while Bruce’s daughter sustained a minor wound to the right leg just above the knee.
Joseph was arrested by officers of the Northeastern Division (NED) on that same day. Investigations are continuing both by the TTPS and the TT Prisons service. The man’s family is demanding an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.