Alexis was killed in what appeared to be a shootout at Freedom Street, Enterprise, which took place at around 4.30 pm. Two other men were also shot dead in the incident, while a child, said to be five years old, was left critically injured.
A large contingent of police and law enforcement authorities cordoned the area as a pall of fear and silence overcame the district. Residents said they feared the start of reprisals in an area which has been plagued by deadly gang violence, particularly over the last two years.
Police said Alexis, who gained notoriety as an underworld character because of links to kidnapping, extortion, perversion of justice, larceny, drug and other offences, was at the premises of his car-wash business which is not far from the Southern Main Road. It is unclear how many persons were involved in the ambush.
According to preliminary reports, two cars drove up. A shooter alighted from one.
Robocop is said to have been armed and to have fired back at his assailants. A shooter and Robocop slumped to the ground, dead.
A third man at the scene who was also killed was said to have been a customer. Other assailants fled.
Though police blocked off the scene, photographs circulated on social media yesterday picturing three dead bodies, including of one person close to what appeared to be a hairpiece and another person holding what is believed to be a firearm.
A district medical officer arrived at the scene, as did crime scene investigators.
Onlookers described a haunting aura of death. Bullets had been sprayed all over the bloody scene.
The boy, identified as Kirchard Scott, was rushed to a nearby health centre where attempts were made to treat with him as a priority.
The two other persons killed were identified as Kevin Escayg and Thomas “Hamza” Sharpe.
They were said to come from San Juan.
With gang legislation due to expire at the end of August, police sources linked the incident to gang activity. A specific gang was named and said to be in a battle for turf.
Persons said Alexis was the owner of a mosque in the Enterprise area.
Residents last night braced for what some said could be a deterioration of the security environment.
It is feared the incident will lead to revenge attacks and vows of bloody retaliation were reported at the scene. Imam Haji Abzal Mohammed, a member of the Inter-Religious Organisation, last night called for peace.
“God created the world and he does not mean for it to be a jungle world,” Mohammed said. “Let us live in harmony. Let us not paint Islam as a religion of war. Islam preaches peace.” Eyewitnesses told police that Alexis was accustomed attending to customers at his car wash on a Sunday afternoon. Officers believe that the attackers were monitoring his movements.
A man who preferred to remain anoymous said that he saw a heavily tinted vehicle drive up the street.
Loud explosions were heard. The vehicle sped off. Three men were left lying on the ground while the five year old boy was screaming out in excruciating pain.
The eyewitness said he used his mobile phone to alert Chaguanas police who arrived quickly on the scene and cordoned off the area.
Alexis’s wife and children arrived shortly thereafter, as well as employees of his mini-mart. They looked on helplessly at the three bodies while residents of Enterprise quickly gathered at the scene and looked on at the police activities.
Some wept openly, others recited Islamic prayers, while some looked on in a daze.
Late yesterday, a contingent of law enforcement officials were still at the scene.
Newsday understands that crime scene officers recovered high-calibre bullets. Sources also revealed that Alexis had surveillance cameras inside his carwash business place. That footage will be used by investigators to identify the killers.
Senior police officers said that Alexis exercised every precaution because he knew he was a man marked for death. They added that based on intelligence, the hit was ordered by a local person who was aligned with dangerous and unacceptable radical causes and who has been attempting to recruit.
Yesterday, Snr Supt Jayson Forde, Head of the Central Division, whose incidentally marked his last day on the job, told Newsday, “What a way to end my last day by being on a crime scene with Selwyn Robocop Alexis and two others being killed.” The shooting death of Alexis brought to an end the life of a man infamous for his criminal record dating back decades. He was said to be 41-years old.
In September 2011, Robocop was detained under emergency powers after being held at One Woodbrook Place in what was said to be a plot to kill the then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and several Cabinet members. He was later released and denied a plot, though security officials stood by their concerns in written internal documentation.
It was only in April this year that Alexis appeared in court on rioting offences and was granted $50,000 bail. He was jointly charged with his 25-year old son Kerron Alexis and Imam Moilan Lynch, 52, in relation to an incident that took place that month at Circular Drive, Crown Trace, Enterprise.
As the years went by, death seem to creep closer to the Robocop.
Christopher Terrence Roberts, who was murdered in December last year, was said to have had close relations with Alexis.
In March 2014, Alexis appeared in court on two charges alleging he assaulted Sgt Doniphon Thompson of the Chaguanas 500 patrol unit and trespassing on a property.
The incident stemmed from an eviction warrant being executed at a property near the north bound lane of the Uriah Butler Highway at Guayamare Village, Caroni.
On November 11, 2011, the same year of the state of emergency, Alexis was freed by Chaguanas magistrate Gillian David-Scotland for the October 7, 2008 murder of Vincent Emmanuel Simmons who was shot and killed at Niblette Street, Enterprise, Chaguanas. The magistrate freed Alexis after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard offered no further evidence in the matter because of certain material provided to them about the credibility of the main witness in the murder trial of Alexis.
If high-ranking members of the Government had cause to be concerned about Alexis, so too did low-ranking police officers.