BERT Clarke sacrificed his life to save the driver of the security van involved in last week’s heist, general manager of Sentinel Security Services, Edgar Hackett, said yesterday.
Hackett made the statement in his tribute to Clarke during his funeral service at the Faith Assembly International church located at Five Rivers Junction in Arouca.
Clarke, an estate assistant supt, was gunned down during a daring multi-million-dollar heist last week Wednesday.
He was yesterday laid to rest at the D’Abadie Public Cemetery.
Delivering a tribute yesterday, Hackett said Clarke was the “embodiment of love”.
“I want to tell you all a love story today and take what you want from it,” Hackett said.
Hackett said according to the report he received on the incident, when there was an impact on the cash-in-transit vehicle last Wednesday, Clarke exited the van.
Hackett said Clarke did so to see if everything was all right with the occupants of the other vehicle.
“At first he thought it was an accident,” Hackett said.
Then Clarke saw four individuals with “sophisticated weaponry” running towards him.
Clarke reentered the security van. Over 50 rounds of ammunition were fired, Hackett said.
While inside the vehicle one of the gunmen approached the driver and placed a gun to his head, Hackett said.
“ASP ah dead,” the driver told Clarke, Hackett said.
“Bert threw himself on the driver and in the process was shot in the head,” Hackett said.
The unidentified driver told Hackett he always thought Clarke did not like him.
“I thought Bert did not like me. I was right...he did not like me, he loved me,” Hackett said the driver told him.
Clarke was yesterday remembered as a “hero” by his family, friends and colleagues.
“Loyal, courageous, dedicated and loving” were several of the adjectives used to describe Clarke yesterday.
Clarke, who worked 39 years at the security firm, was labelled the “heart and soul of Sentinel”.
A family member spoke of the “sophisticated nature” and “clinical planning” of the heist.
David Scanterbury of the National Security Officers Foundation (NSOF) described Clarke as “one of Trinidad and Tobago’s finest”, saying “he lived as hero, he died as a hero”.
Clarke’s son Rondell said crime would always be prevalent in this country once people are not willing to work hard but rather run after a quick dollar.
Clarke’s three children, including daughters Suszanna Clarke and Vernessar Cummings, delivered separate eulogies yesterday.
The sermon was conducted by Bishop Reverend Carl St Rose.