A FALLEN HERO
By CECILY ASSON Thursday, February 21 2013
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FALLEN HERO: Sgt Hayden Manwaring, who died on Tuesday night hours after he was shot while confronting four robbery suspects in San Fernando. Yesterda...
POLICE Sergeant Hayden Manwaring died on Tuesday night at the San Fernando General Hospital, after undergoing emergency surgery, hours after he was shot in the stomach with his own service pistol during a struggle with a suspect.
A sombre National Security Minister Jack Warner yesterday visited Manwaring’s home in Roystonia, Couva where he promised the slain policeman’s wife Kim and children Keddeal, 16, and Kayla, eight, that his death would not be in vain.
“I think the best thing I can do for people like Sergeant Hayden Manwaring is to bring back law and order to this country,” Warner said.
Even as he was speaking to reporters, two more murders were committed, one in Laventille and the other in San Juan. (See Page 5A)
Warner and Acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams led a large contingent of police officers visiting Manwaring’s home to express condolences to the slain officer’s immediate family. Other officers visiting included Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson, ACP Glenda Jennings-Smith, ASP Joanne Archie, Snr Supt Cecil Santana, Snr Supt Deodath Dulalchan, Supt Carlyle Huggins and Supt Johnny Abraham. Tents were erected outside the house in preparation for a wake held last night.
Manwaring, 42, of San Fernando CID was shot in his stomach during a struggle with a suspect on Tuesday afternoon shortly after he and other officers intercepted a car at Padmore Street in San Fernando, containing four suspects, believed to have just robbed a food store.
Another officer, PC Nicholas Phillip, 30, also of San Fernando CID was shot in his shoulder. He was treated at San Fernando General Hospital before being discharged. He is not on leave from active duty.
After the shooting of Sgt Manwaring and PC Phillip, the four suspects fled the scene. Inside the suspects’ car, a loaded handgun was found and seized. Sgt Manwaring’s service firearm was not recovered.
Officers subsequently locked down a large section of the Embacadere community including parts of the coastline as they launched a manhunt for the suspects.
Two were later found hiding in Apartments Ten and 14 of an apartment building, while the third was arrested trying to flee from the apartment building and the fourth was held in the carpark of the San Fernando General Hospital. The manhunt was filled with drama as officers, their guns drawn, searched high and low for the suspect. (See Page 22A) Three suspects, aged between 23 and 27, and from East Dry River in Port-of-Spain, Princes Town and Tableland are in custody while a 19-year-old suspect, of Aldana Street in Princes Town, remains warded under police guard at the SFGH. He was shot during the struggle with Sgt Manwaring.
Warner hailed Sgt Manwaring as a hero who served his country with distinction and who bravely sacrificed his life while in the line of duty.
“I want to tell the national community that I offered his family my resolve that we shall bring this seeming state of mayhem to an end. At a time when the Police Service is facing all kinds of attacks, it is good to see there are officers who are patriots such as Sgt Manwaring, who are loyal to a cause and who in the end have died the way they have lived...in defence of law and order.”
Warner said he could not find “adequate words” to express his regret over Sgt Manwaring’s death.
“I want to say there are no adequate words I can find to say how sorry I am and how painful it is for me and the National Security Ministry and I think the best thing I can do for people like Sgt Manwaring is to ensure that we bring back law and order to this country.”
He promised to go after criminals, “in all kinds of ways...in all kinds of form and by the end of the day, we shall succeed.”
Asked about officers not wearing bulletproof vests while on duty, Warner said that officers are assigned bulletproof vests but some, “choose not to wear them for all kinds of reasons.”
Later in the day, via a press statement, Warner said, “Over the past month, the scourge of crime clearly signals that more has to be done at various levels. We have lost a good soul and defender of the people, but I must use the pain I feel to press me even harder into the kind of action that works.
“That is the best tribute I can pay to Sgt Manwaring. His face and that of his grieving family will remain with me each day that I resume the task to which I committed myself to make Trinidad and Tobago peaceful again.”
A minute’s silence was held in Sgt Manwaring’s honour yesterday at the San Fernando Fourth Magistrate’s Court presided over by Magistrate Margaret Alert. Newsday was told that several male and female police officers wept in court. An officer described Sgt Manwaring, a former warrant officer, as a “good one.” Others said Sgt Manwaring must never be, “a mere murder statistic”, as he was one who dedicated his life to the Police Service.
Ag CoP Williams described Sgt Manwaring as the rock of his (Manwaring) family. “You cannot say much when someone has lost the rock of their home. We are here today to lend support to his family. The Police Service is a big family and when we lose an officer, it is extremely painful to every single member. This was a decorated officer, an exceptional performer and it really pains even more,” Ag CoP Williams said.
Sgt Manwaring will be buried under full military rites in his birthplace of Tableland, Princes Town sometime next week.