Wanted men now in custody
April 13, 2007
Wanted men now in custody

The three Trinidadian fugitives who were believed to be hiding out in St Vincent are now in police custody, in Trinidad.

A massive manhunt was mounted locally for three men believed to be responsible for the January 22nd, 2007 murders in Trinidad of Elizabeth Sutherland, a woman police constable (WPC), along with her husband, daughter and a family friend.{{more}}

Police believe that Daniel “Telly” Mendoza aka Matrix, Zwadie Kambon Gomez aka Patchie, and Kwasi Shaka John aka Shaka had been in St Vincent for close to three weeks, staying with friends.

Photographs of the three men had been circulated by local police.

But now police sources, after hearing about the capture of the men in Trinidad, told SEARCHLIGHT that the manhunt will have to be called off immediately.

Commenting on the latest development in the case, a senior local police officer told SEARCHLIGHT that the police had been informed that the men were here, but never saw them. He said that there could be no certainty as to whether or not the men were really here or if they had returned to Trinidad after the manhunt was announced.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of homicide Maurice Piggot confirmed that the three men are all in custody in Trinidad. The last of three, Daniel “Matrix” Mendoza was held in Central Trinidad last Monday and was at press time being interrogated by Trinidad police.

Besides murder, the men who were said to be armed and very dangerous while they were on the loose were wanted in Trinidad and Tobago for a series of other serious crimes.

ACP Piggot however told SEARCHLIGHT that if the men had indeed been in St Vincent it could have been that the men were squeezed by the police in here and decided to take their chances in Trinidad instead.

He however, in an interview with a Trinidad newspaper, said that he was unaware of any pictures and information being sent to St Vincent and the Grenadines asking for assistance in capturing the murder suspects.

The men are believed to have entered St Vincent using a speed boat. ACP Piggot said that the police have always been concerned about how easy it is for criminals to hop across the seas to other Caribbean territories.

“The way the islands are configured, it is easy to just hop a boat and go to another Caribbean island so that is why it is important that the police from all our territories to work closely together,” the Senior Trinidad police officer said.

WPC Elizabeth Sutherland, 47, Ivan Sutherland, 48, Anika Sutherland, 23, and Kevin Surrette, 33, of Morvant were shot after four men broke into Sutherland’s home on January 22.

On the same night as the Sutherlands’ murders, Tor John alias “Cat”, 25, and Trou Macaque of Laventille were killed after a gun battle with police.

Police said that John was a suspect in the shooting deaths of WPC Elizabeth Sutherland and her family along with the family friend, Kevin Surrette.

No motive has been established for the killings but police claimed the killings were carried out on the instructions of a jailed gang leader.