Every day when Daniel Marie Carmel’s husband put on his flak vest and walked out the door for another day of fighting Haiti’s gangs, she wondered if he would come home that night.
Friday was the day her smiling spouse of 18 years, Ricken Staniclasse, didn’t.
One of the country’s nearly 200 gangs ambushed his police unit that morning, sending gunfire echoing through the streets in an unexpected area — a mansion-lined stretch of the country’s capital, Port-Au-Prince.
A gang lead by Lionel Lazarre battled the police patrol under the sweltering Caribbean heat as officers desperately called for backup. But help never came, the country’s police union said.
The fighting killed three officers, hospitalized a fourth with bullet wounds and left the 44-year-old Staniclasse missing.
Carmel, meanwhile, was terrified for herself and their three children.
“My husband was fighting a lot with the gangs, and we don’t know what could happen to us,” Carmel, 43, said while curled up on her red couch surrounded by neighbors. “I can’t sleep at the house anymore because I don’t know what could happen to us.”