AN off-duty police officer, attached to the Special Branch, was shot dead on Wednesday night when he along with three other people were ambushed at Dump Road, Arima.
Ken McMillan, 38, of Torrib Trace, New Grant, in South Trinidad died while undergoing emergency surgery at Arima District Hospital. Police said the officer's loaded police-issued pistol was stolen by his attackers.
Police last night said three men from the Dump Road were detained in connection with the incident.
In response to the killing, Sgt Wayne Mystar, public information officer of the Police Service, said, "at this time we are deeply saddened by what happened and we condemn the actions of those who did this. We, however, wish to express our condolences to the family of PC McMillan and we are reminding police to exercise caution whether on or off duty."
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams is currently overseas but is expected back today.
Police said that between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. McMillan, who had eight years service, along with three other people, a couple and their eight-year-old daughter, went to Dump Road, Arima to view a motor-car engine which he (McMillan) was interested in buying.
While they were there, two gunmen approached the group and opened fire.
McMillan was hit five times about the body. The man who accompanied him was grazed by a bullet while the woman and the child were not hurt.
The injured officer, police said, was dragged back into his car and his friend drove to the Arima District Hospital.
The police refused to disclose the names of the three other people who witnessed the incident.
Officers at the Special Branch told the Express they did not wish to comment on their colleague's death.
McMillan's mother, Christine McMillan, a retired Superintendent of Police, spoke to reporters at the Forensic Science Centre yesterday morning.
She said her son had been married but he and his wife were recently separated but they had joint custody of their eight-year-old daughter.
"It is hard when the severity of the crime comes home because you know what is happening all the time and you are hearing about what is happening all the time and you wonder how are you able to cope with it," she said.
"And while it is difficult for us, our foundation is in Jesus Christ and we will try to just hold on to that foundation because that's where we get our comfort from, the Holy Spirit, because learning of this situation I just didn't want to believe that it was happening but when you got there and you saw your child, a big healthy man, just lying on a stretcher it is something that you have to face and it's a reality and you have to bear, it without questioning God as to why," she added.
"You know the word of God tells us that Satan has come to steal and to kill but if we allow this to destroy us then what we are doing is not putting our faith in God so right now this is what we are holding on to. God is there for us and we are all holding on to him," she said.
Homicide Bureau officers are continuing investigations.