Shooting death of Venezuelan …”WAS THERE A SHOOTOUT?”

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An autopsy performed on the body of a Venezuelan killed by the police, show he was shot six times, and to the back.

His family are now disputing a police account of the shooting.

Police said that Marco Antonio Diaz Gonzales, 31, was shot dead on March 21, in Diego Martin, during a shootout with the police.

Gonzales’ family representative, David Edghill, an attorney and immigration consultant, said the autopsy results do not support the police account of a shootout.

According to an autopsy report, Gonzales was shot once in the back of the neck, four times in the mid-back region and once to the lower back. The autopsy was conducted by forensic pathologist Dr Hughvon Des Vignes at the Forensic Science Center, Federation Park, on Monday.

According to a police report, at about 11.30 pm on Friday, officers were responding to an all-points bulletin to be on the lookout for a black Yaris motorcar which evaded a police roadblock exercise in Diego Martin.

The vehicle was intercepted near St Lucien Road and as the officers were approaching the vehicle they said they were shot at, and they returned fire.

The two occupants of the vehicle, a man and a woman, both Venezuelan nationals were shot. They were both taken to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where the man succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment.

Police said they recovered a loaded pistol and an undisclosed amount of US currency in the vehicle. The injured woman was identified only as a 21-year-old law student. She was shot in the face and is still warded in a serious condition at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

Edghill said from his information, Gonzales drove past a red traffic light and was stopped by police. He said he believed that Gonzales got frightened when the officers came out and pointed their guns at him and he sped off.

Edghill said Gonzales arrived in Trinidad via Piarco International Airport and was here to import food items so he could send it across to Venezuela, which is in the throes of an economic and social crisis.

Edghill added, “He went to the Immigration to extend his stay but was refused and because of that he overstayed and when the police stopped him that night and pointed the guns at him he was frightened so he sped off. I believe that the police shot him when his vehicle crashed. There was no shootout. Even the girl was shot in the face when she looked back at the police officers. I don’t even know where that gun came from that the police said they found.”

Asked about the US currency found strapped on the woman, Edghill said it was money they were going to use for Gonzales’ commercial business. He said the money was secured to her body because she was afraid of getting robbed.

Gonzales was in Trinidad illegally.

Edghill said that he funded the airfare and accommodation for Gonzales’ wife, Merlay Garban, to come to Trinidad for her to identify her husband’s body.

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Marco Antonio Diaz Gonzales

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