One of the thieves identified as Suzanne Frederick, 39, of Bagatelle Road in Diego Martin died on the spot while her partner in crime, Latoya Mars, 26, of Factory Road, Diego Martin was pronounced dead on arrival at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mount Hope.
St Louis, according to senior officers, is 25-years-old and has about five years service in the TT Municipal Police Service. She is stationed at the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation (TPRC).
The drama unfolded at about 12.45 pm when St Louis was alerted by vendors that a robbery had just taken place.
St Louis saw market vendor Andrea Amoroso, 26, holding on to the bumper of a white Nissan Sunny car, screaming for help, as two female thieves were getting into the vehicle. Amoroso was screaming that she had just been robbed.
After being dragged on the road for about 30 feet, Amoroso fell onto the roadway. At this time, WPC St Louis, who was running after the thieves’ getaway car, followed the vehicle as it turned into St Vincent Street located just across from the market.
As St Louis was nearing the vehicle, the woman driver stopped the car, put it into reverse and attempted to run over the police woman. St Louis managed to avoid being run over as the driver tried to once again run over the police woman, who at this time, was facing the front of the vehicle. With the thieves’ car bearing down on her, WPC St Louis drew her firearm and fired twice, with deadly accuracy.
The getaway car crashed head on into a parked car which in turn crashed into a Nissan Sentra, which was also parked on St Vincent Street. Frederick, who was driving the car, died on the steering wheel while Mars got out of the car and ran a short distance before collapsing.
She was rushed to the EWMSC but was pronounced dead-on-arrival.
Amoroso was also taken to hospital where she was treated for injuries sustained during the ordeal. St Louis, police said, was traumatised by almost being run over and had to be taken for medical treatment and counselling.
A party of police officers from the Tunapuna Police Station including ASP Neville Sankar, Sgt Sinanan, Cpl Haywood, PCs Bhim, Andrews, Gentle, Rampersad, Newton, Leith and WPC Caruth, shortly arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area.
Snr Supt Stephen Ramsubhag — head of Northern Division — was also at the scene, along with several officers from the Crime Scene Investigations Bureau, who carried out extensive investigations.
According to police sources, officers recovered three wigs and several pieces of clothing believed to be used as “change of clothes” for disguise purposes, by the women after they committed their crimes. Police also recovered three bags, one of them containing the stolen cash, which is believed to be close to $7,000 and a revolver.
Frederick’s body was viewed by the District Medical Officer and removed to the Forensic Science Centre where an autopsy is expected to be performed on Monday.
Police said the women — Frederick and Mars — were connected to several robberies including three in Central Division, three in Northern Division and two in the Eastern Division. Police said they were also involved in a robbery, which took place last week at Island Eyes, which is located along the Eastern Main Road.
While, the police were at the scene scores of onlookers gathered and as the news spread about the brave and selfless act of WPC St Louis they praised her and called for her to get an award. One of the by-standers was heard shouting: “That is good for a municipal police and a woman on the beat to do something like this. She deserves to be placed in a special unit of the Police Service to fight against hard core criminals. I am sure she will do well”.
A retired soldier of the TT Defence Force, who served 23 years in the Service also commended the officer for her “good work”. Other by-standers were heard muttering: “It’s better to kill people who steal from or kill innocent people. This is good news...two less criminals on the street”.
Speaking with Newsday, Amoroso’s assistant at her fruit and vegetable stall, Maurie Allen pleaded for heightened security at the market. He said he was with Amoroso selling during the morning and decided to go and purchase lunch. He left Amoroso in the stall alone.
“I heard that as soon as Andrea turned her back, the women thieves came and snatched a bag containing the money and ran. Andrea ran after them and managed to hold on to the getaway car. Thank God for that brave police woman who came to Andrea’s rescue,” Allen said.
Chairman of the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation (TPRC) Kadijah Ameen said that on behalf of herself, her council and her administration, she wanted to commend WPC St Louis for her “bravery and selflessness”. She also revealed that St Louis will be given a commendation award at the Corporation’s upcoming Civil Reception and Awards ceremony which will be held in the second week in November.
“I want to send a strong message to criminals that not only in the market will my municipal officers be quick in action but also at all other facilities. As understaffed as our municipal police body may be, our officers are dedicated to their respective jobs to protect and serve”.
Ameen assured St Louis and her family that the Corporation will do “all in its power to stand by her and support her and her family through this trying time”. ASP Neville Sankar and Sgt Sinanan are continuing investigations.