0

Gunned Down In Front Of His Little Girl

Inspector Carlis Blatch pictured with Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling. Photo: Franklyn G Ferguson

Inspector Carlis Blatch pictured with Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling. Photo: Franklyn G Ferguson

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE respected aide-de-camp to Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling was shot in front of his daughter during a school pickup yesterday afternoon and later died in the Princess Margaret Hospital from his injuries.

Inspector Carlis Blatch was immediately remembered for his professionalism and decency, with the Office of the Governor General noting he was someone who served with distinction.

Former Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes called him “a gentleman to the fingertips” in an interview with The Tribune last night.

Police suspect that Insp Blatch was shot during an armed robbery attempt.

photo

A sketch of a suspect being sought by police.

Last night, as The Tribune went to press, police issued a sketch of a suspect being sought in relation to the shooting.

The suspect is described as having a dark brown complexion, a medium build and standing at about 5ft 11in or 6ft.

Officers combed the streets throughout the night in an island-wide manhunt for his killer even as grieving family and colleagues slowly trickled out of the Princess Margaret Hospital after absorbing the news.

He was a fixture at the side of Dame Marguerite and worked very closely with her on official matters. Inspector Blatch served several Governors General during his career, becoming aide-de-camp under Dame Marguerite.

According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander, shortly after 3pm the officer was sitting in his vehicle with his daughter waiting for his son, who attends HO Nash Junior High School, when a gunman approached him and pointed a gun in his direction.

The man ordered him to get out of the car, then shot him.

The gunman pulled him out of the car, got into the vehicle and drove off. He eventually abandoned the vehicle in a corner off Farrington Road.

Before the suspect drove off, Inspector Blatch’s daughter got out of the car and ran for help, according to police.

Noting the area was crowded with parents picking up their children, ACP Fernander said: “We believe some persons may have seen exactly what happened and if they saw, we’re asking them to please come forward and assist in identifying this individual. He don’t need to be out a next hour. We are on a manhunt at this time. Everybody is out trying to find this individual and we will.”

photo

Police investigate the scene where the stolen vehicle was found. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff

ACP Fernander said police are looking for a dark man who “appeared to be very young, slim built” and between five feet and 5’6.

“It appeared to be an attempted armed robbery,” he said, “a crime of opportunity.

“As I always say the criminals are getting bolder and bolder every day. That is very bold.”

ACP Fernander called on the suspect to turn himself in.

“Go to a pastor, go to some family members, turn yourself in with your weapon or we will find you,” he said.

ACP Fernander said Insp Blatch was on duty at the time of the incident, but had “slipped out” to pick his children up from school.

This is the first time this year a police officer has been shot and killed. It marks the 69th murder of the year, according to The Tribune’s records.

‘Gentleman’

Expressing distress at the killing, Sir Arthur told The Tribune he knew Inspector Blatch “very well and had the highest regard for him.”

“He was a decent human being,” he said. “He was a gentleman to the finger tips and he was admirably suited for the job he was in. I worked with him for several years and it is a great tragedy and I’m very disturbed about this. He was there for the entire time I was there, the four years. He was perfect for the job for that particular field, protocol and diplomatic protection. He was always in place and he always did the right thing at the right time. He had the right personality for it.”

A statement from the Office of the Governor General noted Inspector Blatch has been stationed at Government House for the past 14 years, serving with distinction as the officer in charge of protocol, then as aide-de-camp (ADC) to the governor general.

“His service at Government House was marked by his expert understanding of the procedures which attend the affairs at Government House, and as ADC to the governor general. He always took great care to pass on his expertise to other staff, among whom he was highly regarded. His interactions with the public also made him respected and admired,” the statement noted.

Official Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis also spoke out about the killing, saying he and his colleagues are “simply devastated” by the officer’s death.

“We ask ourselves how much sorrow and needless death are we to bear,” he said. “One of our nation’s finest has been taken from us. A man who had come into his own and with the promise of a great future in front of him snuffed out for no good reason. The meanest of the act of murder in front of his child shows how low we have sunk.”

Obi Pindling, son of Dame Marguerite, called the killing “incredibly sad and senseless” in a Facebook post.

“This is so hard to come to grips with,” he wrote. “To say he ‘served the GG well’ is such a gross understatement. He treated her as if she were his own mother. He was truly a gem of an individual and will be terribly missed. May his soul rest in eternal peace and we pray that the good Lord will strengthen his family at this extremely difficult time.”

A friend of Inspector Blatch told The Tribune last night: “He was a great guy, really pleasant and a true family man. In his work, he was a true professional. It’s a terrible shock for everybody.”

Insp Blatch served as an aide-de-camp for the past four years.

In view of his murder, Government House postponed the ceremonies of the award of honours scheduled for today. A new date will be set for these ceremonies shortly, and an official announcement will be made accordingly.

The Ministry of National Security last night confirmed that an island-wide manhunt was underway for the gunman.

Ministry officials said: “We are appealing to the public to come forward with any information they may have, no matter how small it may be, to help us in solving this horrific murder.

“These kinds of senseless killings remind us that we still have far to go in the fight against violent crime, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Inspector Blatch, who are left to try to understand this tragic incident.

“The Ministry once again appeals to residents to call a police station with any information they might have or to contact Crimestoppers on 328-TIPS.”

Stephen Greenslade, the deputy chairperson of the Democratic National Alliance, said last night: “I join with the Bahamian people in expressing my deep regret and sympathies upon learning of the shooting incident that took place on our streets here in the Capital, and the subsequent passing of aide-de-camp Inspector Carlis Blatch, who succumbed to injuries sustained during the said incident.

“On behalf of the Democratic National Alliance, our leaders, officers and members, I wish to extend sincere condolences to Inspector Blatch’s family and the Royal Bahamas Police Force family.

“Further condolences are extended to our Governor General, the staff at Government House where he last served and all his comrades. May his soul rest in peace.”

Comments

TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

If shoot comrade policeman's inspector in front daughter - anyone's guess what they do rest we?

0

ThisIsOurs 2 months, 1 week ago

No words. Thankful that the daughter escaped...but this is....crazy

1

Telllikeitis 2 months, 1 week ago

Does not appear to be just a simple carjacking as the car was ditched a short distance away and there were likely dozens of other cars around...it appears more like he was targeted. Still no word on if he was armed or if his gun was taken...another possible motive.

1

John 2 months, 1 week ago

The worst type of crime is when someone is doing what an ordinary, law abiding everyday citizen does picking their children up from school, and expecting to spend a family moment together, if only in the car and on the drive home, and they are n down and murdered. Cold blooded. In front of young children, who probably aren’t even allowed to watch this type of crime and violence on tv. Secondary is the fact that the victim is a law enforcement officer. And the ripple effects of this type crime and tragedy is so far reaching and so opened ended... all those ‘what if..’ questions and the ‘if only..’ statements and the ‘they need to ..blame’. May his soul Rest In Peace.

0

BahamaRed 2 months, 1 week ago

Sometimes these things are gang initiations ... cause there was no reason to shoot him after having already getting him out the car. Smh...

0

joeblow 2 months, 1 week ago

Is it really possible for such a senseless act to take place in broad daylight, with witnesses around for no reason? I can't imagine how this will affect his children! Wow!

1

OldFort2012 2 months, 1 week ago

Not a witness, so I have no idea. But if this is reported correctly, this was no robbery. You go up to a guy, shoot him, then abandon the car within a few minutes. And you do all this in broad daylight, in front of many witnesses? In my humble opinion, this was an execution and probably a message to someone higher up. Basically: pay up or you are next.

0

Sickened 2 months, 1 week ago

As BahamaRed said above this could be a gang initiation where he just had to shoot someone and steal a car in order to get in. He's probably getting his tear drop tattooed on as I type this. Sad!

0

OldFort2012 2 months, 1 week ago

Anything is possible. But do you not think he would have picked an easier target for that? At a different time, in a different place? This was hard. Sounds like a targeted execution to me....but anything is possible with all these dopeheads about.

1

spoitier 2 months, 1 week ago

This was a dumb time even for a targeted execution, but anything is possible. I think this is a case of when you are dumb, you are dangerous, those are the kind of criminals that even the gangs don't want because they are a danger to anyone.

0

DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

How utterly awful. Where does it end?

0

Sickened 2 months, 1 week ago

I hope that the day comes quickly when he is hauled before the court and his parents are outside crying 'My good son!'

0

gbgal 2 months, 1 week ago

So sad! Weep for our country. However, the police will find them, for sure. Deepest sympathy to the family.

0

hrysippus 2 months, 1 week ago

The man who murdered this policeman possibly just wanted to steal the car and did not know that he was dealing with an inspector, when he found that out then he ditched the car as soon as he could. The police are not very good at solving these murders so we may never know. If there is justice in the world then he will pay for his sins, hopefully even if he confesses his sins and receives absolution from a priest or is "saved" before death.

0

John 2 months, 1 week ago

Without disrespect or any insinuations to the departed officer, but when I posted in this forum a few years ago that the police are merely considered a gang in uniform by criminals, many ran hot and took issue with that. Well firstly, it is the goal and intent of criminals, everywhere, to carry out crimes, including committing murder and other violent crimes. When the police do their duty and arrest and bring to trial and have convicted criminals, the crime element is offended by that and feel the need to get revenge. So there is tit for tat going on between the police and the criminals. Then again, there are officers who are not loyal to the force. They are only policemen when they have on their uniforms and report for duty. Other than that, they hang with the same criminal element they are suppose to police, and even worse than that, they share confidential police information with criminals and gangsters. So in fact they are traitors who put their fellow officers lives at risk and use their uniform to cloak crime rather than helping stamp it out. The former commissioner of police was very instrumental in weeding these officers out, and even bring them to justice.

0

tetelestai 2 months, 1 week ago

John, I am not sure the intent of your post here. I am equally not sure what your post of "a few years ago" has anything to do with what happened yesterday, but, instead of trying to provide a "I told you so moment", how about a little respect for the dearly departed? And, if your hubris does not allow you to do that, then how about a little respect for the daughter, who will never again have a father...Grant eternal rest upon him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him. May the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace. Amen.

0

geostorm 2 months, 1 week ago

My deepest condolences to Officer Blatch's family, his colleagues and my fellow Bahamians. What a tragedy, I am at a loss for words.

0

mandela 2 months, 1 week ago

As he was a police officer, and killed in the process of a robbery and in cold blood, the person or persons responsible qualifies as the worst of the worst as left in place by ex-PM Ingram, they should be hanged, if the criminals are becoming bold so should their punishment

1

DDK 2 months, 1 week ago

Which the British Privy Council will not allow. Don't think the Caribbean Court of Justice subscribes to the death penalty either.........

0

John 2 months, 1 week ago

@Tetelestal... there were close to 1,000 or maybe more Bahamians murdered over the past decade. Many of they left young daughters and sons and mothers and family members and friends and coworkers to morn and to continue life with that void and empty space being there... forever! And the problem is we, both as individuals and as a country drenched in blood, cry out and holler and scream when something like this happens. Then we go back to sitting on our hands. Sorry but no brownies for you.

0

tetelestai 2 months, 1 week ago

So because 1000 people were killed that means we can't morn this person who was killed? Your (so called) logic is eluding you by the minute, John.

0

John 2 months, 1 week ago

If your ignorance prevents you from mourning, then carry on smartly. Why you want to beat up on me for a crime I did not commit ..total ignorance! We mourned in slavery for 400 years and still continue to shed tears for inequality and injustice. injustices .like this one...so what makes you so holier than thou? Maybe the log in your eye? Everyone likes to holler "bloody murder", but did Cain ever confess to the first one? No, but he complained that the punishment put on him was too harsh. Today we cry that the bloody murderers are getting away with a slap on their wrists. As it was it in the beginning..amen.

0

tetelestai 2 months, 1 week ago

So now this is attached to slavery? Oh "little" John...

0

bogart 2 months, 1 week ago

HOW DA HELL DIS COULD BE AN ACT OF ....ARMED ROBBERY.....WHEN DIS PLAIN BRIGHT DAYLIGHT MURDER.....WHEN DA MURDERER AFTER ..ORDERING DA POLICE OUTTA HE CAR......DEN....GON.........INTENTIONALLY............MOVE...SWING.... HE GUN....?....IN A PARTICULAR DIRECTION WHERE DA POLICE IS.....AN ...AN...AN....INTENTIONALLY MOVE HE FINGER ON DA TRIGGER.......FULLY ...WELL ....KNOWING WHAT GAN HAPPENS..........ITS WAY PAST TIME ....DESE LAWYERS TAKE CHARGE OF THE FINAL COURT BUSINESS IN DIS COUNTRY.....AN START HANGING DESE GUILTY MURDERERS...,!!!!.....mudda tek soc dred....cant understand how come after 45 years independemce some 3,000 highly lawyers still have to run way over to England Privy Council to still get answer.....make no sense nohow how lawyer get ok to practice in Bahamas ....but gan hav to run back all da way over to England....for answer...!!!!

0

bogart 2 months, 1 week ago

If there is ever a way for VAT taxpayer to allocate taxes in good conscience I would prefer to have my VAT taxes go towards that young daughter and her well being than to see it go to paying for the prison and upkeep of that criminal for countless number of years..... The authorities should allow all citizens such choice.

0

BahamaRed 2 months, 1 week ago

They need to start back hanging these dudes. Cause to shoot a man in front of his daughter and other school children is heinous.

Even the mafia of the olden days had the decency to at least not execute you in front of your family and children. Smh

Criminals are so bold these days... gang initiation or retaliation it doesn't matter. Crime is ridiculous and something needs to be done. This country's lawlessness is sickening.

1

Greentea 2 months, 1 week ago

This guy was murdered. I don't know why but sadly the reason could be as simple (Simply evil) as a gang initiation, a straight up hit, retribution for a perceived snub or someone wanting his job. Sad but true. If this person is found he should be interviewed on TV so people can see that these fellows don't give a scrap about anyones life including their own.

0

BONEFISH 2 months, 1 week ago

My condolences to the family of the late Inspector Blatch. Lost for words on this senseless crime.

0

Sign in to comment