Dad of teen killed in liquor mart shooting wants closure

The fa­ther of 14-year-old Luke Williams, who was fa­tal­ly shot by a busi­ness­man while at Singh’s Liquor Mart in St James last week Mon­day is ap­peal­ing for clo­sure as to what ex­act­ly hap­pened that led to his son’s demise.

Quin­cy Williams, 41, who spoke to Guardian Me­dia, said he strong­ly be­lieves that for his son to be shot in the head, chest and ab­domen, to him “says a lot and very sus­pi­cious es­pe­cial­ly see­ing that no firearms were found...so what he shot my son be­cause he was putting his hand in his pock­et as though he had a gun...We need clo­sure be­cause the po­lice of­fi­cers are not even co-op­er­at­ing with us.”

Williams said he has asked to view the CCTV footage cap­tured from in­side the liquor mart and has al­leged­ly been re­fused by se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers, which he said, makes it even more sus­pi­cious and lean­ing in the bor­der of a “pos­si­ble cov­er-up.”

“Lis­ten...as a fa­ther I just want to know how and why my son was killed. If he was wrong I would still stand as a fa­ther by my son but I will say he was wrong and I will apol­o­gise on be­half of him,” Williams said.

Williams said for 26 years he lived at the near­by Quam­i­na Street and per­son­al­ly knows the busi­ness­man in­volved.

In an in­ter­view last week Tues­day, Luke’s foot­ball coach at St An­tho­ny’s Col­lege Regi­nald Critchlow said Luke had many chal­lenges in­clud­ing do­mes­tic and so­cial and would have not at­tend­ed school and foot­ball train­ing on count­less oc­ca­sions. Critchlow even dis­closed that he of­ten saw Luke lim­ing in Port of Spain with friends.

When asked about Critchlow’s state­ments, Williams said it was true that his son missed school and fur­ther ex­plained that it was be­cause he was sick or stumped with fi­nan­cial is­sues.

Williams al­so men­tioned that his son had many old­er friends and would have be­lieved to have been in the wrong com­pa­ny most times, “He was very mys­te­ri­ous to us...he would not tell us who he is lim­ing with or what he is in­volved in but he was the type that would do things as be­ing ad­ven­tur­ous but at the end of the day we need to know if there was re­al­ly a rob­bery at­tempt that morn­ing or what ex­act­ly hap­pened and why.”

Al­so, con­tact­ing the Guardian Me­dia was a man, who claimed to be a rob­bery vic­tim. The man, who did not give his name said he was an Uber dri­ver and was robbed by a group of peo­ple in March 2018. He al­so said that he is 98 per cent sure that Luke was one in the group that robbed him of his car and oth­er valu­ables.

“I am 98 per cent sure that this is the 13-year-old who robbed me then, last year...The Bel­mont po­lice and Port-of-Spain CID ar­rest­ed him. I nev­er got back my car nor was any­one charged for what hap­pened to me...His mom is a po­lice of­fi­cer and that would ex­plain why he wasn’t brought in the line up for me to iden­ti­fy,” the rob­bery vic­tim said.

When asked if this was true, if his son was ever ques­tioned by po­lice for the Uber dri­ver rob­bery, Williams said yes it was true.

Williams is now call­ing for the in­ter­ven­tion of Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith to have the footage re­leased to the fam­i­ly “for clo­sure’s sake and for the truth to be ex­posed.”

Ini­tial­ly, it was re­port­ed that Luke and his 32-year-old friend at­tempt­ed to rob the busi­ness­man of his cash sales.

How­ev­er, po­lice of­fi­cers re­ceived in­for­ma­tion that both teenagers went in­to the store to pur­chase al­co­hol when an ar­gu­ment broke out and Luke’s friend al­leged­ly threat­ened to re­trieve a gun from his car.

Guardian Me­dia was told by po­lice sources that both friends had at­tend­ed a “Zess­er” par­ty at Sea Lots the Sun­day night be­fore and were be­lieved to be high­ly in­tox­i­cat­ed.

Williams lived at Harp Place in East Port of Spain while his friend lived at Bath Street in the same area.

An ini­tial po­lice re­port stat­ed that at about 8.20 am the teens en­tered the store and an­nounced a hold-up. One of them was armed with a gun.

How­ev­er, they were shot by a busi­ness­man who be­came fear­ful and moved to save his life and de­fend the lives of his work­ers and cus­tomers in the store at the time.

Luke who was dressed in cam­ou­flage pair of pants that were worn un­der the but­tocks show­ing a pair of black box­ers and a white vest col­lapsed and died in the store with an undis­closed of cash in his hand. Po­lice said the cash was part of the day’s sales that was de­mand­ed from the busi­ness­man sec­onds be­fore he was shot.

Luke’s friend, who al­so at­tempt­ed to run away col­lapsed on the pave­ment just out­side the es­tab­lish­ment. He was con­veyed to the hos­pi­tal via am­bu­lance and is still ward­ed in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion at the Port-of-Spain Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal.

But in an un­usu­al spin to the in­ves­ti­ga­tions po­lice of­fi­cers got an­oth­er ver­sion, how­ev­er, of­fi­cers are still stand­ing guard out­side the hos­pi­tal’s room of Luke’s friend, with the hope of him pulling through so that they can ques­tion him as to the cir­cum­stances that led to the shoot­ing.

- by Rhondor Dowlat

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