A NIGHT liming with friends ended in tragedy for one fire officer after she was shot dead in Port of Spain on Sunday.
After being shot, however, Natalie Pierre-Boyce, 31, still managed to stop a taxi and asked to be taken to Port of Spain General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead a few minutes later.
The incident took place at Jackson Hill, East Dry River, around 11.15 p.m. while Pierre-Boyce was at the home of a fellow fire officer, said police.
Her passing has left many of her fellow officers in a state of shock. They all described her as a loving, outgoing and dedicated individual.
Pierre-Boyce's death carried the country's murder figure to 382. For all of 2011 the murder toll stood at 354.
Officers investigating the case said Pierre-Boyce, of Bird Street, Pioneer Drive, Petit Valley, was at the friend's home when someone opened fire on the building.
After realising she was shot once to the chest, the officer ran into the roadway where she managed to stop the taxi, but the driver's effort to get her to hospital in time to save her life was not enough.
Yesterday, Acting Divisional Fire Officer Mervyn Lane told the Express at Fire Service Headquarters, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, that the mother of two was an avid pan and netball player within the service. He said her death has come as a great loss to all of those who knew her.
"I know it is very trying for her family because they have two young kids together and especially at this time of the year when people are in the process of ushering in the new year, they have to deal with this type of tragedy.
"She was always a very cheerful person, always the life of the party. On behalf of the Chief Fire Officer and the entire Fire Service we offer our condolences to her family in this very trying time," said Lane.
Relatives of the dead woman said just last week Pierre-Boyce and her husband, Clive Boyce, who is also a fire officer, purchased a car together as a gift to themselves for Christmas and were looking forward to celebrating the new year.
Speaking to the Express briefly by phone yesterday evening, Boyce said it was very difficult to accept the loss of his wife in such a tragic and unexpected way.
He said for most of the day yesterday he was in the process of registering her death at the Port of Spain hospital and planning her funeral early in the new year.