With another prison officer murdered in a week, the Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan has called an emergency meeting with the executive and security team.
Stephon Richardson, 30, who only passed out in July was gunned down opposite his Third Company, Indian Walk, Moruga home around 6.15 pm on Sunday.
Just over a week ago, prison officer Sherwin Francis was shot to death at his Chaguanas home by three men.
A press statement from the T&T Prison Service stated that the service has again been plunged into mourning. “Commissioner of Prisons (Ag), Mr. Dennis Pulchan has called an emergency meeting with members of his Executive and security team, as the brutal act has engaged his full attention, and a response is imminent.”
Their information is that he was cleaning his vehicle on the side of the road when he was shot. Pulchan, the release stated, is reminding all staff members to be extremely vigilant and cautious, especially when off duty. Richardson was attached to the Remand Prison on the Golden Grove compound, and had less than one year service, the release stated.
They expressed their sincerest and heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues, especially his batch mates. Richardson’s murder has left his family baffled.
As far as they know, Richardson, a father of a one-year-old boy, had no quarrel with anyone and no issues at work.
He was engaged to his girlfriend, but they were hoping to get married soon. Speaking at Richardson’s home yesterday, his sister-in-law Amanda Richardson said just before the incident he was in a jolly mood. She said he told them that his boom box was not working properly and he was going to buy a new one.
“He was dancing in the room. He liked listening conscious (songs).
Amanda said he left him washing his car and they walked up the road. She said they were walking back home when the neighbour called them across by him. “And as soon as we walk back and we sit down we heard six shots. We run down in the back. The neighbour say, ‘no that is not gunshot that is fireworks’. And I tell my husband let we just go home and come off the road.”
They came across Richardson’s body on the ground. “I just start to bawl and tell him get up, Stephon, get up. But no response. If we did come down the road we would see him and stop to talk to him and we would get shoot too.”
His mother Gail said Richardson, the youngest of her three sons, had no friends and was not a limer.
“I know things like this happen everybody will say they child good. Listen that boy has never had friends to say he close to anyone, his friends are his family. He went to St Benedict’s College, he got tertiary education in UWI, he graduated with honours.”
However, she said he was unable to find a job and he decided to join the Prison Service.”He said mummy you know what the best things is let me go into the service and from there I can branch off to be anything I want to be.”
She said he was saving his money to study law. Despite the crime situation, she never felt it would reach her doorsteps because of how she trained her children. “They grew up in a religious home with family and friends. They grew up with values and you see them live it out you not expecting to see anything like this. But given this situation, you don’t know what is going to happen next.”
She was hoping that Finance Minister Colm Imbert would focus on crime in the Budget.”This is frustrating, heart-rendering. This is my last son and I gave everything for him.” She said CCTV footage from a neighbour showed a black Tiida speedying away at the time of the murder. However, she said they are yet to see the footage. Attempts to reach Prison Service Association’s president Ceron Richards were unsuccessful.
Investigations are continuing.