Trinidad on 'high alert' after prison escape and deadly shootout

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Story highlights

  • One of the escapees remains on the loose
  • A police officer was killed and a prison escapee gunned down
  • The government has placed airports and seaports on alert

(CNN)Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister is calling for calm in the wake of a deadly prison escape and nationwide manhunt.

One police officer was killed and a prison escapee gunned down in Friday's brazen jailbreak in the capital city of Port of Spain. One of the three prison escapees remains on the loose and is considered armed and dangerous.
    "Your government is in full control and is taking all appropriate steps," Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said in a statement Saturday.
    The government has placed airports and seaports on "high alert," and apparently detained some people for questioning after what the Prime Minister called "surgical strikes based on intelligence."
    Three men broke out of the Port of Spain Prison on Friday afternoon. The escape involved a shootout with police that left one prison guard dead. Constable Sherman Maynard, 27, died from gunshot wounds in the attack.
    Shootout after prison break in Trinidad and Tobago
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    The Trinidad Express reports that the men were armed with handguns when they escaped and apparently threw a hand grenade onto the roadway. Police removed the unexploded device after the escape.
    Just how the prisoners got the weapons remains unclear. The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian reports that Deputy Police Commissioner Glen Hackett could not "confirm or disconfirm reports that the prisoners were allegedly given the arms during a 'special visit' session."
    A short time after the jail break, police say they shot and killed one of the inmates, Allan "Scanny" Martin, on the grounds of Port of Spain's General Hospital. He had been in jail for charges in the 2006 murder of a local businesswoman.
    Escaped prisoners Hassan Atwell (left) and Christopher Selby.
    The two other escapees have been identified as Christopher "Monster" Selby, 30, and Hassan Atwell, 41. According to CNN affiliate CNC3, Atwell's body was found very early Sunday. He had reportedly been shot. It wasn't immediately clear by who, and the matter is being treated as a murder, CNC3 said.
    Trinidad Police say Atwell had been in jail awaiting extradition to the United States for charges involving an alleged "hostage taking." Selby was imprisoned on murder charges.