– Phillip King thought he was just taking two women and a baby to church…He ended up almost getting killed
By Michel Jordan
It was around 3.30 p.m. on Saturday, November 27, 2017, when the two women approached Phillip King at the Stabroek car park.
They said they were heading to the Seventh Day Adventist church in Meadowbrook Gardens.
That route held unpleasant memories for King. On the night of May 26, 2015, he had taken a burly, fair-complexioned young man from the Stabroek Park to that same location.
Just as the passenger disembarked near the Enterprise Primary School in Meadowbrook, three other men with handguns rushed to King’s car. They ordered him out of his 2015-model Toyota Premio.
King, 46, appealed to the gunmen’s sense of patriotism.
“Is Independence Day, man, we supposed to be celebrating,” he pleaded.
“Me ain want hear no (expletive) ‘bout Independence,” one of the carjackers replied.
They gun-butted King until he blacked out, dumped him in a trench, and drove off with his car.
Two years had passed after that attack, and though he was now more wary about picking up strangers, King sensed nothing suspicious about the two women who asked him to take them along the same treacherous route.
They were in their twenties, he guessed; they were decently dressed, and one even held a well-wrapped up baby.
King is a father of three, and perhaps the baby stirred his paternal instincts. There was also the fact that the women said they were going to the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Meadowbrook.
They entered the back seat, and King drove to their destination.
He still wasn’t uneasy when he reached the church and observed that there appeared to be no one inside.
The only individual he saw was a well-dressed man standing in the compound. The women explained that the gentleman, who was now approaching King, would pay their fare.
The well-dressed man came to the driver’s side of the car.
He reached into one of his pockets…and King froze.
He was staring into the muzzle of a handgun.
“Get out of the f—ing car,” the man said.
When King opened the door, the gunman dragged him out, and shot him twice at close range in the right thigh.
The gunman then entered King’s 2011 model Toyota Premio, and drove off with the two women and their ‘baby.’
“I started to see dark,” King recalled. “The next thing I know, I wake up a day after in the (Georgetown Public Hospital’s ) ICU.” It was then that King learnt how close to death he had been.
A doctor revealed that he had lost 34 percent of his blood. The bullets had left his leg so badly shattered that the surgeons had wanted to amputate his limb. They had seen this as the only option to save his life.
“The doctor told my wife ‘is either leg or life.’ She told them not to cut it off.
“They also said that my heart had stopped while I was on the operation table.
“The bone was shattered and the artery carrying blood to my heart was damaged.
“The next day they took a vein from the bottom of my foot and replaced the artery.”
He remained in hospital for several weeks, “helpless and in pampers and feeding through tubes.”
He would have to return to the hospital at least thrice for corrective surgery. This included removing four inches of bone from his hip to support the shattered bones in his leg.
But, almost three months later, he still cannot walk.
He’s already spent millions on medical treatment. He also has three children who all attend school.
He is still to collect his insurance on his stolen vehicle, since “they say the police have to finish their report first.”
But King is taking some comfort in the recent dismantling of a major carjacking ring, which is believed to have stolen at least 100 vehicles…including King’s first car.
While watching a local television news broadcast, the face of one of the suspects was flashed on the television screen.
King says it was the same man who had lured him to Meadowbrook in November, 2015.
King believes that the same gang, aided by two women and a ‘baby,’ also shot him and left him for dead last year.
“Definitely, I was a victim of that ring. ‘Ruthless’ is not the right word to describe them. They (almost certainly) have killed other people,” he added, referring to the many taxi drivers who have vanished over the years.
Meanwhile, a friend of King’s is checking at the Brickdam Police Station to see if King’s two stolen cars are among those that have been retrieved
He may never find his vehicles. But he has his life.
“I am lucky to be alive, by Gods grace. “Every time I go to the clinic, the doctors say ‘boy, you lucky to be alive.’”
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