POLICE shot and killed a would-be drug smuggler yesterday morning and wounded one of his accomplices during an early morning police exercise.
Addressing members of the media at St James Police Station yesterday, Senior Superintendent Ishmael David said the dead man was identified as Marlon “Moon” Reyes of Bagatelle Road, Diego Martin.
The other man is currently under police guard at Ward 21 of Port of Spain General Hospital in a stable condition.
David asked that medical institutions be on the lookout for others who may have been injured during the exchange of gunfire.
The Senior Superintendent, who thanked his officers for a job well done during the exercise, said: “It is hard when someone dies” and sympathised with the family.
According to David, officers of West End Police Station, acting on intelligence, went to North Coast Road, Diego Martin around 12.45 a.m. when they saw some men loading crocus bags onto a Toyota Hilux pick-up.
The men, on seeing the officers, fled into some nearby bushes.
The officers pursued them and were greeted with gunfire. They returned fire before retreating.
The officers returned to the area around 5.30 a.m. and went back into the bushy area where they were again greeted with gunshots. This time the officers stood their ground and fatally shot Reyes and wounded his accomplice.
Four men between the ages of 21 to 27 were arrested.
Police said the crocus bags, 21 in all, contained marijuana believed to be from St Vincent.
The drugs have not been weighed and a street value has not been determined.
A Jamaican passport was recovered at the scene of the shooting, along with a Taurus pistol and eight rounds of ammunition.
Cpl Kevin Beckles and Insp Henry Dann were involved in the exercise, along with officers of the Coast Guard and Air Guard and other police officers.