Cops could have prevented this

The wife of murdered T&T Defence Force Sergeant Ken Palmer believes her husband would have been alive today had the police investigated previous reports against the alleged assailant.

Speaking at a relative’s home yesterday as she comforted her two children, Radica Pooran, 40, said for the past four years her husband had been provoked and harassed by the alleged assailant and they had made several reports to the police.

“They (police) did not do enough, otherwise this would not have happened,” she said.


Palmer, 42, who had 20 years service, was shot several times following an altercation at his Rampersad Trace, Dalloo Road, Gasparillo home around 6.15 pm on Thursday. Another man related to the suspect was also shot and is in a critical condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Wiping away tears as she recalled the incident, Pooran said her husband was provoked. She said the suspect stopped his car on the road and asked her husband, ‘What you looking at? Yuh see something to look at?’ She said her husband replied, ‘I not on allyuh today boy, I not on that.’ She said the suspect reversed the car, pulled out a blade and attacked her husband.

“Ken tried to brakes, he ran under the house and took up a piece of iron to defend himself. There were three other brothers who also came and saw him (Ken) with the iron, they came with bottles and boulders and started to launch shots at Ken.”

Pooran, who was on the steps looking on with their children, said, “Ken tried to defend himself with the iron, but one of the brothers jumped on him and he couldn’t move the iron any more and the one with the blade thought it wasn’t enough, so he ran home straight into his mother’s house and came out with the gun. He didn’t stop to do anything, when he ran out with the gun he just keep shooting, shooting until he reach up on him.

“When he reach up on him Ken didn’t have any way at all to cover himself from the shots, it was in plain sight, it was then and there he shot him and his brother because his brother was in front of Ken cuffing him.”

She said when her husband got the first shot he told her to take the children inside. As she was rushing up the steps, she saw her husband fall to the ground. She said the assailant also fired three shots at her, but missed her.

“They (the assailant) always thought he would do something so they always threatening him, throwing talk and molesting him, but he never do nothing, he never rush out to do them anything.”

She said the harassment started four years ago with the cutting of her water line. She claimed in 2006 the assailant also robbed her. Pooran also complained that when she went to the Forensic Science Centre yesterday, a female regiment officer took her husband’s national identification card and gave it to her husband’s relatives, whom she does not share a good relationship. She later viewed her husband’s body, but claimed the regiment officer told her the military was taking control of his body.

“I understand that they have to do military rites for his funeral, but you can’t tell me that the military taking over and he has a common law wife with two kids.”

Up to midday yesterday, she said no one from the military had contacted her. She described her husband as a very caring, helpful joyful person who did not deserve to die. She said her husband was planning to celebrate their daughter’s birthday next week and to discussiontake the children to visit their sick grandfather in the US.

Contacted yesterday, Defence Force senior public affairs officer, Flight Lieutenant Monique Sprott, said the wife’s complaints would be investigated. Sprott confirmed Palmer’s military identification card was in the military’s possession. She added that the T&T Defence Force empathises with the family and was working with them to arrive at a solution that is comforting to all. She also expressed condolences to the family on behalf of the TTDF.

Source: Guardian