San Juan Jabloteh winger and, arguably, the Pro League’s most outstanding player in the 2015/16 season, Nathan Lewis, is now resting at home after being shot in a drive-by outside the Maloney Indoor Sport Arena at around 1am on Sunday 18 September.
Lewis, who has blistering pace and can operate down either flank, was Jabloteh’s leading scorer last season with 12 league goals, as he helped the “San Juan Kings” book their first CONCACAF Champions League qualifying berth in just over six years.
His razor sharp form earned the 26-year-old winger his first Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team call-up as coach Stephen Hart gave him his debut in a 3-1 loss to Uruguay in Montevideo on 27 May 2016.
Lewis also played from the start on 3 June when the experimental Soca Warriors line-up fell 4-2 to China in Qinhuangdao.
Sunday’s hairy incident will set back Lewis’ progress slightly, as he was ordered to rest for another two weeks before he can rejoin his teammates on the training field.
Initially, Lewis’ colleagues feared it might have been much worse. The winger spent the night liming by teammate Sean Bonval in Maloney before he left for home, late on Saturday night.
Bonval, according to a football official who spoke on condition of anonymity, heard loud gunshots soon after his departure and called Lewis’ phone to ensure that he was okay. Someone else answered and said Lewis was dead.
Minutes later, there was a more hopeful diagnosis. Lewis had been shot in the shoulder and was rushed to the hospital.
The official suggested that Lewis encountered some curious decision-making by the attending doctor at the hospital.
“At first, they didn’t want to take out the bullet,” the official told Wired868. “They just wanted to patch him up and send him home. It is only when they heard he was a national player that they decided to take it out.
“I think they thought he was a bandit at first and they couldn’t be bothered…”
Although Lewis earns a honest living, the official feared that at least one of his childhood friends does not. That friend allegedly asked Lewis to join him at a sweat in the Maloney facility, after he left Bonval. And they were together when some unidentified assailants hopped out of a vehicle and opened fire.
Lewis was said to have dived into his car for cover. And the gunmen, uncertain of whether that was a defensive or offensive move by the Pro League footballer, riddled his vehicle with bullets, during which time he was shot in the shoulder.
Lewis’ friend as well as a few bystanders were allegedly shot as well. But there were no reported fatalities.
“You will have friends when you are growing up and some people go one way and you gone the next,” said the official. “You have to understand that you are putting yourself in jeopardy by keeping company like that. We know sometimes it can be hard to see an old friend and to just keep on walking. But this is what can happen when you don’t do that.
“We have tried to warn Nathan before. Maybe he will listen now.”
Lewis’ misfortune continues a bad year for local footballers, who often come from at-risk communities.
Soca Warriors ace midfielder Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings was shot in his leg after a boat ride last December while promising 23-year-old Defence Force utility player Ross Russell Jr and his former teammate, Balondemu Julius, were charged for the murder of Selwyn Gaff on 21 June 2016.
Women Soca Warriors star Ahkeela Mollon is also lucky to be alive after her vehicle was caught between the crossfire of two rival gangs outside her Longdenville home on 23 June 2015.
And, last week, 21-year-old former Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 left back, Damani Richards, was charged for possession of a 9 mm pistol, 10 rounds of ammunition, two pistol magazines and 44 grammes of marijuana at his home.
In other football news, the Warriors will not have option of using Police FC attacker Makesi Lewis for the upcoming Caribbean Cup competition, after the poacher suffered a broken leg in practice.
Lewis was the Pro League’s top scorer last season with 20 goals in 27 matches while he won three international caps with the National Senior Team against Grenada, Uruguay and China.
However, Lewis is now expected to be out for eight months after colliding with a goalkeeper in training.
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no one is safe in T&t, its the WIld , Wild, West of T&T. or Showdown at the Ok corral. we reach.
Going for a sweat at 1 o’clock in the morning? Some folks are really brave! Doesn’t Nathan have exercise equipment at his house? Some people are apparently under the assumption that it will happen to “them,” but not to “me.” How wrong can one be. Anyhow Nathan get on the mend speedily.
So ppl must live in fear n stay inside then???
No Shaquille Nesbitt ! Not what I was implying. The timing of the sweat is where my concern lies, and not the fact that the young man felt the desire to take sweat.
Theresa Green and i’m saying that there isn’t a specific time for sweat just saying and i think he was proberly chilling after sweat
Okay Shaquille Nesbitt you got me there. I never really considered that aspect of it. But yes, you have a point. Nonetheless, I still say that life today has changed. It’s not like it once was and it is never going to get back to where it was. Luckily, the man escaped with no major injuries. But I bet you he will process things a little differently in the future.
Sad. Wish he takes this as an eye opener. Talented guy.
Sports science people…how much can that bullet injured shoulder affect his speed ?
I know it all depends on where he was shot…but generally speaking
What kind of madness that I am reading here eh my prolific goalscorer Makesi Lewis got a broken leg and he will be out of commission for 8 months eh and isn’t Nathaniel Lewis the MVP of Jabolteh this past season?
Crime keeps taking from us. . .
So are you saying shoot others but not our sportsmen and women?
Friends carry you but they dont bring you back – good example
We brought my good friend and player Ralston James from Tobago,who I Coached at Doc’s Khelwalas he got shot a W.Connection player but by then he was also a National player, the killer was never found?
Yes. I remember. There was Ahkeela Mollon’s car being shot up last year too in crossfire. http://wired868.com/2015/06/24/mollon-caught-in-crossfire-wwarriors-stars-car-shot-up-in-chaguanas/
Do you know Emmanuel Charles?
Another fallen solder by the gun
He was one of the best Lasana Liburd, Charlo or Rock,he was known by,he lived in Enterprise Chagunas,National Captain also
Marvin Phillip was stabbed a couple years ago: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Goalkeeper_stabbed_fighting_bandits-115488554.html
Maybe I will go through the team and see how many players have had scary episodes.
Let the people know who our sportsmen and women are put them up on billboards in the neighborhood. Respect them they represent us. Save them.
I second this
Lasana Liburd its true about the medical staff not interested in taking out the bullet or bullets,if they think you are into that lifestyle,I have seen it happen more than once☹️️
Sad. I would love to know the potential repercussions of that decision. And that should be cause for malpractice suit when it does happen.
We cannot remove the bullet or you may be paralyzed,you don’t need surgery if the bullet is not traveling,favorite lines?
Highly unlikely ethical behavior as a doctor to that.
Why would doctors not treat bullet wounds in keeping with their Hippocratic Oath and report the matter for to the police so they can follow up? Happens in other countries..
If the bullet needed to be removed it needed to be removed(now I dunno the details) whether he was a national footballer or a vagrant shouldn’t have changed this ..
Boi…I dunno… but if it’s a public hospital well… not surprising
What would be the downside to leaving the bullet in?
Me eh know… I’m a kidney and trabsplant specialist
All I know is I see enough shit being done in de hospital that nothing surprises me
Is d truth..I fed up
This is Sparta yes. All we can do is keep putting plasters on sores and waiting for a chance for meaningful change.
That is really sad…. who is out for 8 months with a broken leg? That’s crazy. Man does come back from a broken leg in 2-3 months now.
Hmmm… One for the medical practitioners again. Maybe I should have gotten more details on that leg break.
Yeah man.. I used to think a broken leg was career ending as a kid. Nowadays 6 weeks later people are back playing…
In Trinidad, anything that required operation used to be career ending! Lol. Sad but flipping true. The number of top players whose career ended with a simple ankle or hip injury. Heartbreaking.
Lasana yuh have to remember some players reinjure themselves by returning to play (sweat or minor league), or seeking advice from 2 or more physicians, or not seeking proper treatment at all.
Ankle injuries aren’t as simple as they seem…
Well, we would never know Kirwin Weston because they never got the treatment. Teams don’t have physios and any medical treatment you need that requires more money than the manager has in his pocket… You’re on your own!
For that matter Kirwin, there isn’t a signal NATIONAL football team with an accredited physio right now.
So don’t tell me Barrackpore is the only football team in the country with a physio. Lol. Footballers still generally don’t get advice from one physician let alone two.
The footballers who have been around for a while are smart enough to seek out proper physios on their own. God help the others.
That could be debated, but will be a pretty long one.
Barrackpore ain’t got no physio eh, slow down, lol.
There are people who can help with their rehabilitation locally. Of that I’m sure
Yeah, we know about the national team.
But there are other people who can do rehabilitative work in Trinidad. There are people who can treat ankle and hip injuries, I’m certain
What I’m saying is if the national teams don’t have physios, then how many club or school teams will have?
And following that line… How many young players would have access to a proper physio?
Of course there are physios in Trinidad that people can find. But how would they know about their value? From the same teams who don’t use them in the first place?
No one really has money to afford them as they should too
Lol. No Kirwin, this is no debate. I am telling you that the national team has no accredited physios. Not one!
They have trainers who go online and try to get information or whatever. There are no physios working there. Ask anybody.
And what about the doctor allegedly being disinterested in removing the bullet? Shaun Lynch? What are your thoughts on that part?
Talented kids from these rougher than most neighbourhoods really need to be shepherded out of this country on the back of a scholarship.
Those who have the academics. And those who don’t want to turn pro. But if you want to play professionally in Europe, you can’t afford those three or four years for a scholarship.
People should assume they’re average and their goal should be to get to the states on a scholarship and never return here.
If you make it to Europe before scholarship time, well then good for you.
Never return sounds harsh. But I’m fine with the other bit.
A scholarship is easy to get now!!! No effort needed. It’s still a better option than being in those environments, which the wrong ambiance of pl around
No effort needed for a scholarship Nate Ainsley Noel? I wouldn’t say that now…
Which scholarship is easy to get? Please let me know
I always laugh when I hear that. Like the player don’t have to work at his craft and his academics. If it was easy, everybody would be on a scholarship
Like football linked to gangster business or wha?
A lot of players come from at-risk communities. I think that’s the thing here. The plus to that is it also means football gives youths in rough neighbourhoods something positive to do.
Like it not working
I’m sure it helps. Might not work for all… But in this case, Nathan wasn’t doing anything wrong from all reports.
What in blazes? Open season??
There probably isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t have a school friend or old neighbourhood friend who didn’t end up on the wrong side of the tracks.
This is a wake up call.
Sigh…watch that company!
In a sense, I think this also demonstrates that sport is able to reach youth in at-risk areas and give them something positive and worthwhile to do.
Although, of course, it cannot always protect them from the community itself.
Same thing I just thought when I read the headline. Sad indeed…
What about how the doctor was apparently going to just clean the wound and put him out until they heard it was a national player?
Corruption comes in all forms in this land. Smh