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Mom admits son’s bad company led to his death

I prayed about it 3 months ago
Published: 
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Relatives of Reuben Richins view his body through the window of a hearse outside the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday. Richins was killed by police on Tuesday night. (Inset) Richins mother Desta. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

The mother of Reuben Richins, one of the three men shot dead by police on Tuesday night, said yesterday she was expecting her son would be killed by the police some day because of the bad company he kept. Richins, 23, was reportedly visiting David “Junior” Baker, 28, and Kareem Edwards, 19, Baker’s nephew, at a Freeport apartment when police surrounded the house.

There was a shootout and the three were killed. Speaking with the media outside the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday, Desta Richins said the third of her six children had told her his life was his own and he would live it the way he wanted. She admitted her son had been around bad company for some time and that unfortunately had resulted in his death this time around. But although she expected it, Richins said her son still did not deserve to die “like a dog.”

She said: “I expected that he would have gotten in trouble because of the company he kept.” “I am a praying person and would pray for my children every day, him especially, because he was always home today, gone tomorrow. “I was getting nervous the past few months. Three months ago I prayed about it and told the Lord ‘Whatever is your will, give me the strength.’ And now I just trying to deal with what I prayed for.” She added: “Reuben was a quiet person who got caught up with bad company.

He loved his friends, They grew up together like brothers. “What can I say about Reuben. He loved his nephews and nieces and would take care of them a lot. In his spare time he would argue with his sisters and clean my house. I never asked him about his movements. He was his own man, as he told me, his life was his life.”

Police said they received information that Richins, Baker and Edwards, all of Petra Crescent, La Horquetta, were at a house at Kurban Ali Drive, Calcutta #2, Freeport. North Eastern Division Task Force police went to the house in search of Baker, who had six outstanding warrants for murder and gun-related offences. But when they identified themselves they say the men shot at them. The police shot back and when they entered the house they found the men bleeding from chest wounds.

The trio were taken to the Couva Health Facility but died on the way. Police said two bulletproof vests, a .38 revolver and a 45 pistol were recovered. Police have so far killed 37 people for the year. Yesterday, Richins and her husband, Roger, said their son had left home on Sunday to visit Baker, who reportedly fled the La Horquetta area following a shooting incident recently.

Roger said his son was wanted by men from the La Horquetta area who believed he had something to do with the shooting. He said he spoke to his son about some of the “wrong things” he was doing but he never listened. He said despite that his son was never arrested or charged with any offence. Also speaking with the media yesterday was Baker’s sister and Edwards’ aunt, Kadisha Prince.

Prince said she raised both of them and her only complaint was that Edwards would stay out late playing football and did not respect time. She said Baker, a father of two, was a welder while her nephew did woodwork. Prince said despite what police said her brother had never been arrested or had altercations with the law.

“My brother was for his family. He used to give a little trouble. Everyone has their past,” Prince said. “He was trying to do the right thing and he was killed. None of them got a chance to defend themselves. Junior was a loving young man who would do anything for his family.”

Men shot in chest
Pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov told the media yesterday all three men died of perforated hearts, having been shot in the chest at least four times. One of the men was shot five times in the chest but Alexandrov could not recall which one. “They were shot multiple times and all shots were from the front, they were facing the shooter,” he said. “They died on the spot, all three had perforated hearts. The most important thing to avoid any speculation is that they were shot from the front, there was no entrance wounds on the back.”

Asked about the number of cases that passed through the Forensic Science Centre involving police, Alexandrov said: “it is quite a number,” adding he was not in a position to determine if the police were right or wrong in any of them. “The most important in police shooting is the entrance wound,” Alexandrov said, adding that he was unsure when the results would be back for gunpowder residue on the men.

In an unrelated matter, Clint Paris, who was shot in the head by police during a shootout on Tuesday and is still warded in a critical condition at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, is expected to make a full recovery. Police said yesterday that doctors told them Paris would “most likely make it.”

Police said Paris was with another man at Belle Vue Road, Long Circular, St James, when he saw them and ran. He was chased into a nearby ravine, when he allegedly shot at the police, who fired back. A Taurus pistol was allegedly recovered.