BEIJING—For the world’s best sprinters, passing the baton in the 4x400 relay is about as easy as rolling out of bed in the morning.
Picking a winner in that race used to be easy, too.
Just two weeks after San Fernando handyman Roopchan Harripersad was released from prison, he was murdered with a single bullet to the head. But although he died in the quiet community of De Verteuil Street, Rambert Village, no one heard the gunshot that killed the 41-year-old Harripersad. Nandlal Seemungal went to Harripersad’s wooden shack, behind a bamboo patch at the end of the street. After calling and searching, he found Harripersad in the bush with a large hole in his head.
Seemungal told police, led by Supt Anthony James, ASP Robert Williams, Insp Don Gajadhar and PC Silvan Chapman, he had hired Harripersad to do work at his home and when he did not show up he decided to check on him. Crime scene investigators found Harripersad had been shot at the back of the head. Police were unsure of the time of the murder but Harripersad’s father, Boyie Harripersad, said he last saw his son around 11 pm Sunday. Speaking at his home a few houses away, he said Harripersad had just finished digging a drain at a client’s home and a friend had dropped him off at the junction to buy bread. Police said Harripersad had been convicted several times for larceny and marijuana possession but was not known to be violent.
Although the murder has left the community in shock, Harripersad’s mother Dolly had mixed emotions, saying she and her son had not spoken in years.
With a stressed look on her face as she sat in her front porch, Dolly said her son had stolen money and jewelry from her and several neighbours even when he lived at her house and would curse and assault her whenever she confronted him. “About ten times he went to jail. Yes, I used to be frightened but I never told him to go from here. Whenever you talked to him, he would get on and leave. He put himself out,” Dolly said. Despite living in fear of Harripersad, the second of her seven children, his death brought no relief, only sadness. “I wouldn’t feel relieved at all. He was usually good with everybody around here but from small, I could not control him. Since he was going to school he gave trouble,” she said.
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