An acting corporal and two police constables are now on suspension after a ballistics report has revealed that the bullet which killed a police officer came from a police gun.
Acting Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob signed off on the suspension letters on Friday after being briefed on the forensic details of a bullet recovered in the death of PC Clarence Gilkes.
Speaking with Newsday on Saturday, Jacob confirmed that the officers were placed on suspension shortly after he received both documents.
Jacob stressed while he could not divulge much information as the probe was still ongoing, he also confirmed that Snr Supt Joseph Chandool, head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB ) would be overseeing the investigation.
Gilkes, 44, was part of a team of 12 officers assigned to the Western Division Task Force, who responded to a report of men armed with high-powered rifles at Rich Plain Road, Diego Martin on April 22.
Police initially claimed that they were fired upon by a group of men and returned fire. They claimed Gilkes was killed by the assailants and launched a manhunt for the suspects.
A post-mortem report later revealed Gilkes was shot in the neck from behind.
Jacob said the officers were suspended with full pay to allow investigations to run smoothly without any obstruction. The head of the Western Division Snr Supt Kelvern Thompson has also been replaced and sent on approved vacation leave as of next week. Thompson claimed at Gilkes’ funeral on April 29, that the officer was able to fire upon the shooters after he was shot.
Jacob said while an acting Snr Supt of the division has not yet been appointed, ACP William Nurse, now in charge of the Tobago Division would take over as the officer in charge of the Port of Spain and Western Divisions replacing ACP Daniel Moore who will now be transferred to Tobago Division.
The division extends from Chaguaramas to Maraval.