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Cop dies from burn injuries

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Gary Alexander

Two days after he set himself on fire, SRP Gary Alexander has died.

Alexander, 62, of Jebodhsingh Trace, Fyzabad died during the early hours of yesterday having sustained second degree burns to 90 per cent of his body.

During an interview yesterday, his daughter Shanice Alexander, 25, said they were awaiting the arrival of relatives from abroad before organising Alexander’s funeral.

Shanice expressed disappointment over a story in another newspaper (not the Guardian) which claimed that her father was sleeping in a car prior to his death and that he killed himself following a dispute over property.

“The incident did not stem from a fight over property. He was never sleeping in his car,” Shanice said.

Describing her relationship with her father as abusive, Shanice said he had a drinking problem and despite serving for years as a police officer, he never received any help.

“Everybody talking now but nobody from the Police Service assisted him. Nobody ever rendered counselling to him and he needed it,” she said. Alexander’s common-law wife, Debbie Figaro, made numerous reports of abuse at the police station. On March 18, following a domestic dispute at their Jebodhsingh Avenue, Fyzabad home, Alexander was charged with two offences of assault, malicious damage and throwing a flammable liquid.

Shanice said after that incident, promises were made to help Alexander, but this never materialised.

“My father was always abusive. Everyone knew this. When my mom left him he would always promise that he would do better but then things would change and go back to what it was before. His drinking problem was part of it but when the situation happened on Sunday he was not drunk. He did this when he was sober. When he drinks alcohol he used to get on but when he didn’t drink, he was quiet.” Figaro said the family wanted to grieve in peace. “It is traumatic and this was how he wanted to go,” Figaro said.

Neighbour Desmond Alfred, said Alexander’s family was terrified of him as he threatened to kill them on many occasions.

“I used to try and talk to him but he never listened,” Alfred said. The neighbour, who witnessed the entire ordeal, said he could not sleep since the incident. Alfred said Alexander was in his garden and received a call, following which he confronted Figaroo and an argument ensued. He then jumped in his car, returned with a red plastic container filled with petrol and began throwing it on himself and his brown Kia Cerato.

He then locked himself in the car and set himself on fire. Moments later he came out and tried to extinguish the flames by lying in a drain. His son, Jacy, threw water on him and he was later admitted in a critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital.


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