The family of 36-year-old bus driver Cleavon Gomes is calling for justice, accusing hospital authorities of causing his death because they delayed him getting emergency medical care.
Gomes, a father of two, died hours after he was mistakenly shot by a Police sergeant, Police headquarters reported. The sergeant was reportedly drinking at the time.
One of Gomes’ relative who prefers to remain anonymous in an interview with the News Room said Gomes and a miner, Elton Munroe, was involved in an altercation. She explained that Munroe was asking Gomes for money and Gomes responded: “Go ask your woman over there.”
The two got into a fight and Gomes was stabbed.
The relative said he was heading to the hospital when Munroe returned with a cutlass and continued to assault Gomes.
“By time he to go up the road like the boy [Munroe] come back with a cutlass and broadside he and a police was over the road – a sergeant – and he fire a shot,” the relative said.
The incident occurred at 111 Mahdia at about 19:30hrs Thursday in the vicinity of the minibus park. Another eyewitness had told the News Room that the Sergeant was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
Gomes was rushed to the hospital by relatives. According to the relative, the hospital said preparations were underway to have him airlifted to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
“They said they already done start paperwork for a plane to come for him. I keep checking with them and asking them, ‘Are you going to get this plane? What time this plane coming?’ They keep telling me, yes the plane is coming,” the relative recalled.
After a few hours and they didn’t see any sign of the plane, the relative said they offered to charter their own plane but the hospital kept reassuring them that one was coming.
“I said I will charter a plane just for him to live and they said no.”
“He take 6 hours to bleed to death before a plane reach Mahdia, and to get to Mahdia by plane is only 45 minutes,” the relative said.
Things got heated at the hospital after relatives were reportedly prevented from seeing Gomes.
A video being circulated on social media shows persons trying to get into the hospital, but the relative said it was residents and not family members.
The relative said they were then locked out of the room at the hospital and had their phones taken away when they were allowed to see Gomes.
“If that boy wanted to say something to his mother or sister with his last breath, they didn’t allow us; they just lock us out,” the relative said.
The relative further explained that Gomes was only given morphine for the pain and had the wound bandaged.
“Mahdia hospital don’t have no good health system in place, if anybody sick we always have to medevac to go to town to get proper medical attention,” the relative said.
The relative said they were also asked to buy ice to keep Gomes’ body after he died, as the mortuary at the hospital is out of operation.
Meanwhile, Police Headquarters in a statement said the Police Sergeant was placed under close arrest along with Munroe.
Police also said a thorough investigation has been launched into the incident.
According to the police, Munroe was repeatedly warned by the Sergeant desist from his actions but after he continued, the Sergeant shot at him but Gomes was struck instead.
Gomes was described as very peaceful person. He would transport police officers and prisoners from Mahdia.