Police shot and killed two men within the space of three hours yesterday. In the most recent killing, Joel Apparicio, a 31-year-old father of one, was killed while on his way to make a report at the San Juan Police Station. Reports state that Apparicio, of Barataria, who also had an address at Bon Air West, Arouca, was running north along Real Street around 11.30 am when he was shot. A self-employed businessman, Apparicio had been accused of paedophilia, his mother Wendy told onlookers moments after her son was killed. She added that after being informed of the accusation her son was on his way to the police station.
Eyewitnesses said as Apparicio ran past a nearby jewelry shop, where an officer had stopped to buy a battery for her watch, a male officer who was in a black Nissan X-trail drove behind Apparicio and without warning shot him. Apparicio fell on the sidewalk and died. The officer who shot Apparicio is alleged to have said the deceased was not the man he thought he was and returned to his vehicle where he called his colleagues. The man’s mother, who was trailing behind and saw the killing, emptied her son’s pockets in full view of onlookers to prove he had nothing illegal on him. “The man was running along the road next thing I hear ‘pop’, a gun went off and the man fall on the ground, then I see the mother running. You (the officer) is a trained man, you supposed to ask a question, the man never had nothing on him. I saw him running up the road,” one man said. “I not taking that. It’s too much, it’s too much man. I want to watch that man in his eye,” a female relative screamed as Apparicio’s mother shouted at the man who claimed her son’s life, saying: “That is him.”
Wendy, a pastor at the Jesus Elam Church, Barataria, was heard screaming out for her son as onlookers grumbled among themselves that “them police too wicked!” Others asked why police weren’t killing the “real criminals.” As the crowd spoke ill of the lawmen, one officer was heard saying that none of the onlookers was mentioning that prior to Apparicio running up the street there was a robbery. That, however, could not be verified by police when the T&T Guardian sought clarity. Apparicio was the eighth man to have been killed by a police bullet this year.