The school communities of St Benedict’s College, La Romaine and Siparia RC School are praying for their respective students impacted by Monday’s heist at the Pennywise Plaza, La Romaine.
The robbery took place after 5 p.m. and in the aftermath, two security guards from Allied Security Ltd picking up the day’s sales were killed, and four bandits were dead after a chase and shootout with police of the Southern Division. Allister Harris, a guard for the Plaza was wounded in the back but survived.
Employee of Allied Security for the past 20 years, Peola Baptiste, 58 years, is the mother of a Form Four student at St Benedict’s College, La Romaine. She is in critical condition at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), Mt Hope, after being shot in the chest, shoulder, and abdomen; bullets also grazed her face.
The bandits used an AR-15 style rifle and a submachine gun. Her family has appealed for O-Positive blood donations. In response, St Benedict’s is doing a blood donation drive.
The teachers and students at the school are praying for him, as well as the Catholic Education Board of Management, School Supervisor and Parent Teachers’ Association.
At the end of the school day on Tuesday, the school community prayed for Baptiste’s recovery and well-being. The school’s administration has contacted the student’s father assuring of support during this difficult period. The guidance officer and social worker were notified for counselling to be available.
The student is a member of the school’s football team which on Saturday, September 17 won against Carapichaima East in the Secondary Schools’ Football League.
Meanwhile, a Standard Three pupil of the Siparia RC School remains warded at the San Fernando General Hospital after being injured in the shootout between police and the fleeing bandits.
The nine-year-old boy was in a vehicle driven by his mother which was proceeding along the Southern Main Road. In a Trinidad Guardian report September 20, the boy’s father stated: “They were on the way to pick up from school and they came to San Fernando, then they went to Pennywise and bought
some stuff and were heading back home. They were in the vicinity of La Romaine when they heard a loud explosion and a bullet entered the back glass, it struck him. It grazed the driver seat headrest and exited the front glass of the car.”
Stitches were done on the wounded area located close to his right eye and pain medication administered. The boy was reported to be in good spirits, but the family is traumatised by the event.
The Siparia RC school community has been praying after news of his condition was received. School officials have been in contact with his parents offering their support.
The Student Support Services Division of the Ministry of Education was contacted, and the school’s guidance officer is on stand-by to assists the boy and his family. Students will be making cards for their schoolmate and a Mass will be offered for him.
Surgery was done on Baptiste Tuesday night and her condition is now listed as stable. She is warded in the Intensive Care Unit, EWMSC.