First police-involved killings for year – 2 shot dead in Champs Fleurs

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

KILLED: Andrew Campbell, one of two men shot dead by police. –

WHILE Amanda James is deeply hurt that her son Andrew Campbell died in a confrontation with police, she says she was not surprised at this outcome since she tried to warn him about his ways on several occasions.

Campbell, 21, and Jerome Charles, 24, were both shot dead when police tried to search a house in Spring Valley, Mt D’Or Road, Champs Fleurs at around 4.30 am on Thursday.

Police claim Campbell and Charles, 24, pointed guns at them.

Officers told both men to drop their guns, but the two continued pointing their weapons a the officers who opened fire.

Both men ran off but were found bleeding a short distance away. They were taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope but were declared dead on arrival.

Officers seized a Glock 17 pistol loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition and an AK-47 assault rifle loaded with 18 rounds of 7.62 calibre ammunition. A 28-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were also arrested during the exercise.

Police said the exercise was initiated as part of investigations into several shootings in the area.

When Newsday visited the area where the men were killed, hours later, police and crime scene investigators were still at the scene. Officers were seen speaking with residents near a steep staircase where the shooting happened.

Speaking with Newsday, James said she and other relatives had tried to speak to Campbell several times to get him to change his way, but without success.

“To be honest, Andrew was harden. He was very, very harden in fact.

“He didn’t listen to me. He used to live up the hill with me and I had to ask him to move out and he came down here in this area to live. I asked him to move out because he was very harden.

“Everybody tried to speak with him on numerous occasions, we tried to get him to change his ways but as I told you…he was very, very harden.”

James said her son was unemployed up to the time of his death and supported himself through small-time “hustles.”

She added that while she never heard of Campbell being arrested, she did hear rumours of him getting in trouble.

“To my knowing, I heard talk around the neighbourhood about him getting in trouble with the law, but to say the police physically locked him up, I never heard of that.” James said while she is hurt over her son’s death, she draws strength from God.

Newsday also spoke to Charles’ mother, Venessa Charles, who dismissed the police’s account of what happened and insisted her son did not point any weapon at officers.

“He called his baby’s mother at 3.19 am and he took a picture of himself and said, ‘Baby, you see where I am, right?’

“She called me and I heard him say that for myself and then I went back to bed.

“When it was about 5 am, she came and woke me up and said she heard gunshots and saw lights going up the hill. I wasn’t there to see what happened so I can’t say anymore.”

Charles said that based on where he was found, she feels he jumped down the hill to escape from the police.

Charles was the father of a one-year-old boy. Checks with sources revealed that there were 55 police-involved killings in 2022. Both bodies were later taken to the Forensic Science Centre in St James for autopsies. Investigations are ongoing.