PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Police were investigating the murder of Nigel Jones, the second prison officer to be gunned down here within four days as the murder toll climbed to 412 so far this year.
Police said that Jones, who was last assigned to the Wayne Jackson Building at the Maximum Security Building in Arouca, east of here, was shot while at a taxi stand in Siparia, south east of here on Tuesday. He is the 27th prison officer to be murdered here over the past 30 years, but the fifth officer from the Maximum Security Prisons to be killed within a five-year period.
A CCTV video showed the prison officer standing with his daughter waiting for a taxi and a vehicle drove in front of him and an occupant of the car shot Jones several times before the car sped off.
His brutal murder follows that of Trevor Serrette, who was killed by a lone gunman at his fruit and vegetable stall in Valencia, in north eastern Trinidad.
“This is an attack on the prison service and the country. This is an attack on law enforcement officers perpetrated by a group of prisoners in Jackson Building at the MSP. These cowards and murderers cannot be killing hard-working prison officers who just came to do a job,” said Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan, who had earlier described Serrette’s murder as “cowardly and heinous”.
Prison Officers’ Association (POA) president Ceron Richards said while enquiries were still continuing into the circumstances behind Serrette’s murder, he described the killing as a “cold-blooded hit”.
“He was brutally murdered, make no mistake this was no robbery. His life was just snuffed out,” Richards said.
Media reports here have quoted sources as saying that threats to kill prison officers from a high-profile prisoner housed at the Wayne Jackson Building are currently being carried out.
Meanwhile, two youths were shot and killed in Laventille, along the east-west corridor on Tuesday as gunmen also injured four others in that incident.
The police have identified the victims as 17-year-old Jevon Charles from Tobago and 17-year-old Josiah Francis. Relatives said another Tobagonian, Anthony Bacchus, 32, who had been originally identified as one of the fatalities, was alive and had surgery to remove six bullets. (CMC)