Ornella Greaves

call for justice: Ornella Greaves...killed in shooting.

Ornella Greaves, 30, left her home in the Beetham Gardens about 10 a.m. yesterday to record the protests on the nearby highway.

She never returned.

Greaves, who was four months pregnant, was shot while standing just off the east-bound lane of the highway, in the vicinity of Ninth Street, Beetham Gardens.

However, there are conflicting reports as to what happened.

Residents claim a police officer shot and killed the mother of five.

However, police believe she was shot by criminal ele­ments.

Senior police officers in the Port of Spain Division told the Express that at the time Greaves was shot, officers had come under fire.

The officers took cover and returned fire, they claimed.

In the aftermath, Greaves fell on the ground, bleeding from an injury to her lower right torso.

Residents of the area raised an alarm and flagged down one of the nearby police units and informed them of the situation.

Greaves was rushed to the Port of Spain General Hospital where she died some three hours later.

An autopsy was ordered to confirm the cause of death.

You who shoot me

Residents have denied the police reports.

They insist when Greaves was shot, no one was firing at the police.

Greaves’ mother, Annette, was one of those who insisted no one was firing at the police when her daughter was fatally shot.

“I was out on the road when all this happened. I heard all the commotion and walked out to see what was going on. I saw my daughter pass, and asked her were she was going. She said, ‘Mammy, I videotaping what them fellas and them doing,’ and she walked off. She walked down (by Ninth Street) and when she was there, we heard shots being fired.

“Now, I was in the middle and no shots were coming from outside. It was coming from the highway side. So I thought maybe the police were firing their guns in the air to disperse the crowd. While I was standing here, a five-year-old boy run up to me and say, ‘Ms Annette, Ms Annette! Ornella get shoot!’ and I run down. I didn’t think it was my daughter who got shot when I heard the explosions,” Annette Greaves said.

She claimed when her daughter was brought to the hospital, nurses asked one of the officers who accompanied her what had happened.

The officer allegedly said Ornella had fallen down and injured herself.

“She point up to him and watch him and say, ‘It was you who shoot me!’ and then lie back down. That was her last words,” Annette Greaves said.

Just a bad dream

Darren Joseph, Ornella Greaves’ husband, said he still could not believe what was happening.

Speaking with the Express, Greaves said he was deeply hurt by his wife’s death, and it broke him when he was told a police officer may have been the one who shot her.

“Boy, this is a dream. I feel like I’m in a dream. How am I supposed to tell our children she gone? I can’t even handle that news myself, and because of that, I haven’t even gone to see them. Because I don’t know if I would be able to hold up if I see them. She was my world, my whole world.

“You know how I’m feeling as a man who doesn’t go out there and trouble anyone? Who doesn’t rob or steal. Who is not in any violent things. Who goes to work. I hold my corner and work hard out here, and obey all the laws.

“To be in work and hear my child mother get shoot by a police officer? To hear all these things going on. To go to the hospital and see my woman dead and the child within her dead. Boy. I don’t believe all this is going on. I swear this is just a dream. This cannot be going on at all,” Joseph said.

No justice

Annette Greaves told the Express this was not the first time she has lost a child following an incident with police.

Her son, Christopher Greaves, 23, was shot dead during a confrontation with police in the Beetham Gardens on September 1, 2013.

Residents had claimed he was shot while on his way to buy a snack for his children.

Police claimed he had shot at the officers first.

His death resulted in fiery protests that day, and the following day.

“Every time I go and ask about it, we keep hearing the investigation is ongoing. It’s been almost seven years and we’ve yet to get any justice. And even so, I want police to know I don’t blame all of them, but you see those few rogue ones....

“Those who lie to cover their tracks even after they do something wrong. Those are the ones who are tarnishing the whole service. Because Gary Griffith don’t know what they are doing at all. But we are out here on the streets and we are seeing it. We are feeling it. We are living it.

“I’m not going to take any justice in my own hands, and I’m not asking anyone to protest for her. It won’t bring her back. Nothing will bring her back. All I can ask for now is justice. And I know my God is real, so even if the police don’t want to hold their own accountable, in this world or the next,” Annette Greaves said.

—Alexander Bruzual