Woman killed by hijackers

By Indarjit Seuraj
June 25 2009 – newsday.co.tt


ViolenceYESTERDAY afternoon, just after 1.30 pm, Camille Daniel, 39, wife of a soldier, left her home at Finch Drive, River Estate in Diego Martin to pick up a friend at the VEMCO compound, Factory Road in the Diamond vale Industrial Estate, which is directly opposite the West End Police Station.

As she and her friend sat chatting in Daniel’s gold-coloured Nissan Almera car (PBC 7755), two armed bandits jumped into the back seat, with one of them placing a gun to Daniel’s side and ordered her to drive.

She must have thought she was doing the safest thing by driving straight into the compound of the West End Police Station. But instead of offering the hoped for sanctuary of a police station, it was however, a fatal mistake.

One of the bandits, realising what was happening, shot Daniel, a mother of one, at point blank range in the back, just as she drove into the police compound. He jumped out of the still moving vehicle at the entrance of the police station and ran to the nearby Diego Martin River. As Daniel’s car crashed into a concrete wall, his accomplice scaled the perimetre wall of the police station and jumped into a waiting black Nissan Almera car which sped off.

The bullet fired into Daniel’s back, caused massive, fatal internal injuries before it exited through her nose. She slumped across her shocked female friend who sat in the front passenger seat and died before any police officer could even come to her rescue. It happened so swiftly that police on duty were taken by surprise. As the two hijackers ran off, they left a firearm in the back of Daniel’s car.

Task Force officers at the police station rushed out and headed to Richplain Road where they held four suspects for questioning. Other officers jumped in a marked police vehicle and chased after the gunmen’s black Nissan Almera.

The chase ended when the officers cornered the car along Richplain Road and a shootout ensued. One of the two occupants surrendered while the other managed to escape. Up to late last night he was still on the run. The five suspects were being interrogated at the West End Police Station.

Crime scene investigators at the station last night tested the hands of the suspects for traces of gunpowder residue. Investigators were also last night reviewing video from surveillance cameras installed at the station.

Daniel’s husband, Lance Cpl Stanley Nottingham arrived at the police station almost an hour after the shooting, dressed in full camouflage uniform. It was he who positively identified Daniel’s body to investigators. “I’m not taking that so!” Nottingham shouted as he looked at his wife’s body in the car. Daniel’s female friend remained inside the police station up to last night, giving a statement to officers. Police sources said she was severely traumatised.

Other soldiers arrived at the police station and some were seen consoling Nottingham. The image of soldiers at the crime scene was reminiscent of a similar incident almost a year ago, when Army Cpl Ancil Wallace, 42, and his friend Noel Charles, 42, were shot dead outside Wallace’s home at Farm Road in Richplain, on June 17, 2008. At the time, the two were celebrating the christening of Wallace’s son Jaydon.

This double-murder led to heavily armed soldiers setting up camps and virtually locking-down Richplain in a bid to find the killers.

Factory Road has become notorious for criminal activity with several people being gunned down within recent times and in fact yesterday, several persons testified in court in a triple murder which occurred in Factory Road in April.

At the house of mourning, soldiers said Nottingham was too distraught to speak to reporters.

Contacted for comment yesterday, on the killing of Daniel, acting Police Commissioner James Philbert admitted there were “some challenges” facing the police at Factory Road.

“We have held one of the men already and we have enough evidence to find the other person involved. A manhunt is already underway for the second suspect,” Philbert said.

“This incident points to the callous nature of criminals. They just don’t care and we intend to respond to that. To say we are concerned about the situation is not enough. We have to bring solutions and law enforcement intends to deal with this. I admit, we are having some challenges in that area, for example the three killings which occurred soon after the Summit,” he added. Also visiting the scene and leading investigations were ASP David Abraham, Insp Henry Dann and Homicide Bureau detectives Insp Creighton Hudson and Sgt Michael Veronique.


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8 thoughts on “Woman killed by hijackers”

  1. My heart is sadden my the news of our friend’s Camille Daniel’s death. We are sending our condolence to her family,remembering with you
    the life of someone so dear.

    From the Samuel Family

  2. People who are that contemptous of human life need to be dealth with like mad dogs. If a pack of pit bulls were attacking a crowd of children, everyone knows exactly what would be done.

  3. What is the army waiting for? The Army needs to go into these hotspots and ANY person with outstanding matters relating to robbery, shootings and gun possession should be SHOT! SHOT on SIGHT! You will see how FAST the bandits will disappear.

  4. Ah, Dexter, they may disapear, that is go underground like the vagrants do when there is a clean-up drive in P.O.S.
    In addition, some innocent people may get shhot on sight, mistaken for someone else. I would favour an Emergency Criminal Court with special jurisdiction to try these cases.

    Now, in the Pit Bulls analogy above, you and I both know that all the animal lovers will sy how gentle Pit Bulls are, and how the children must have provoked them. This is why we need a court for crimes againt persons specifically. We could get emerency loans of personnel from the Commonwealth CAribbean, familiar with our system of jurisprudence.
    No criminal, charged with a crime against person should be relleased on bail, then they should be brought to court within a week. Lawyers should not be allowd to get delay after delay while they jack up fees. If the lawyer is not reDY TO PROCEED, HAVE A COURT APPOINTED ADVOCATE ON THE SPOT, AND LET THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

    A recent crime in the USA resulted in a jail sentence of five life terms, plus 150 yers. In other words, even if he lived to 200 years old, he’d still be in jail.

    We need stiff jail sentences, but we must also address the root causes of crime in Trinidad and Tobago, else our ineffective school system would continue to be a school for criminals.

    A you read this people, think of ten young men you know. Where are they working?Inability to find work in a racially structured situation, is the root cause of crime in TnT. Theother Caribbean islands have more homogenous populations, and lower crime rates.

  5. Men facing murder charge
    POLICE have virtually “sewn up” the case against two men held for the murder of mother of one Camille Daniel, who was shot dead in her car at the West End Police Station on Wednesday. As such, investigators are expected to visit acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Carla Browne-Antoine next week for formal instructions. Police said they will be seeking a charge of murder against the two suspects.

    Witness in protective custody
    THE woman who witnessed the senseless killing of her friend, Camille Daniel, was yesterday described by police as “struggling to cope with the murder.”

    The murder of 2 military wives

  6. I guess this affront to the sanctity of a police compound has to generate a drastic response.This is the case that will say whether “To protect and serve” still means something.There must have been more than two. Who were in the black get away car that was behind the wall? Was this driver hijacked too? Has he or she come forward.
    Cutting off the head of the snake alone is ineffective. It could still bite you, and its belly might be full of eggs. Find the nest of vipers.

  7. Since as usual this is beat up day on our overwhelmed Police , I’ll throw in my two cents with a novel idea. Fire all our local Police Officers , and replace them with more competent former Canadian , British , Israeli, and US foreign military and paramilitary law enforcement officials.
    In addition, to secure the nation , I would also add a new portfolio of ‘The National Police Intervention Unit’ ,to the folks in green from Tethron, as they can apparently do a more efficient job as had been proven time and again historically.
    After all , didn’t they save the day in 1990 when former Police Abu Backer and his Muslimeeen pseudo religious tugs ran roughshod over the nation in an attempted coup that caught our sleeping Police with their symbolic pants down?
    Some would say that our patriotic soldiers can no longer be depicted as useless, lazy , shiftless , illiterate, weed smoking comics, only necessary come lofty ,ostentatious ,Independence Day Parade displays each year , but have more than redeemed themselves 39 years after Raffique Shah, Rex Lassalle, and Brigadier Skerritt’s escapades that had one pompous former PM rush to rewrite his entire budget speech -while hidden under his bed -to finally share some of his nation’s wealth with the poor suffering masses due to fear of a bullet to the back of his head in retaliation for his neglect and national arrogance towards the desperate.
    Without our military’s sterling efforts , thinks about what the already skyrocketing crimes statistics would look like across the nation. How dare you criminals again knowingly attack and kill the family of a soldier, can you not remember what occurred in Richplain, Diego Martin when an alleged local criminal miscreant had the audacity to attack someone of the military fraternity ?
    I say let’s send a strong message and tell criminals – beg my pardon- police ,that this is a new day as well as be reminded that an election is around the corner.
    Irrespective of how loudly the PR genius Ag. COP Philbert screams , close down this high profile West End Police Station, do an army lock down of the area again to teach citizens a lesson, and start the intense recruitment of thousand of more competent Eurocentric police officers to fill the post ‘Sweet T&T aka Rainbow country’ Police void.
    It is the most logical step to do if the end game is to finally ‘take a dent out of crime,’ and eventually elevate our nation from borderline terrorism threats – from a security standpoint, correct?
    That’s the roadmap to sustainable development 2020 style, ehh?

  8. I read Trini papers and despair. There is so little value for life. Linda I agreed with your comments until the end. What do you mean by homogenous populations in other caribbean countries and your link with crime is farcical. Have you heard of jamaica? I think the problem there is like you there is an inherent racist streak in many Trinidadians. Hence the voting patterns and the backward attitude from even the well educated. Its sad have we learnt nothing from world war 2?

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