Lawmaker Trades Gunfire With Robbers in Turks and Caicos

A lawmaker frustrated by rising crime in the Turks and Caicos Islands responded to a robbery at one of his own gas stations, trading gunfire with the masked suspects, one of whom was shot in the buttocks.

Parliament member Arthur Robinson said Tuesday that he was acting on instinct after his wife witnessed the armed robbery from behind an office window.

"She called and she was crying," he said in an interview. "When your family's threatened, the adrenaline starts to flow."

Four men armed with guns with machetes robbed the gas station Monday afternoon on the British territory's main island of Providenciales, according to detective Sgt. Calvin Chase, a police spokesman.

Robinson said he was driving to the scene when the getaway car passed in the opposite direction, with four men inside still wearing masks. He turned his Ford Explorer around and pursued the suspects until their compact Toyota crashed.

As the chase continued on foot, Robinson said he exchanged fire with the men using a 9 mm pistol that he is licensed to carry. Police arrested three men, including one with a gunshot wound in his buttocks. The fourth suspect remains at large.

Robinson, a member of the political opposition, was among several people who aided the police response, Chase said. The police spokesman added that a man and a woman in a third car were injured when the suspects' car crashed.

Robinson, who owns several gas stations in the island chain southeast of the Bahamas, said the property hit on Monday has become a popular target of increasingly bold criminals. Over the last two months, he said it has now been robbed four times.