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Nikita Thomas grieves with her son Zion Richardson at their home yesterday. Her fiancé, prison officer Stephon Richardson, was shot and killed near his Indian Walk, Moruga home on Sunday.

Too small to understand that his father is dead, the one-year-old son of slain prison officer Stephon Richardson keeps crying for him.

“He keeps crying and asking for da da but it heartbreaking and heart-wrenching for us,” Richardson’s mother Gail said yesterday.

Adding to their grief and pain is not knowing why he was murdered.

“I don’t have an idea. I don’t know anything,” she told Guardian Media yesterday.

Richardson, 30, had just washed his car and parked it next to the Mt Pleasant London Baptiste Church at Third Company, Indian Walk, Moruga, on Sunday, when he was gunned down. Investigators could not say whether it was a drive-by shooting or if his assailants approached him on foot since no eyewitnesses have come forward.

His sister-in-law Amanda Richardson and his brother were at a neighbour’s house when they heard about six loud explosions. As they left and were walking back home around 6.15 pm, they stumbled upon his body on the road in front the church. He was already dead having been shot several times.

Richardson is the second prison officer to be killed in two weeks. On September 19, prison officer Sherwin Francis, 48, was killed by three men who knocked on the door of his Fossobianco Drive, Oasis Greens, Chaguanas home, before they shot him several times when he opened it.

Richardson joined the service three months ago and was attached to the Remand Yard Section of the Golden Grove prison in Arouca. Describing him as a jovial person, Gail said her son, the youngest of three sons, was not a limer. He graduated with honours from university and was saving his money to study law.

Richardson also planned to marry his fiancé but he had not yet set a date.

Prison Commissioner Dennis Pulchan meanwhile held an emergency meeting with his executive yesterday, where they discussed the officers’ murder and the safety of other officers.

Pulchan said they are waiting on the police to shed some light on the motive behind Richardson’s murder.

“This is the second officer to be murdered in a week. We don’t like it very much. We are examining all the possibilities, some of the causes, some of the effects,” Pulchan said.

“But the work of a prison officer has some level of danger. At this time we cannot pin down exactly who or how or why.”

He again advised officers to be more alert and cautious, especially when off-duty. He said it was unfortunate that while they were doing everything they could to keep inmates safe, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic, officers were being murdered.

Richardson’s autopsy is expected to be done today and his funeral is tentatively set for Friday at the church in front of which he was killed.