For Albert Roberts, father of Junior ‘Copper’ Roberts, 34, Tobago’s third murder victim for 2017, it is still too painful and emotionally draining ten month later to think about his son’s death.
Roberts of Buccoo New Road, Buccoo was driving his Nissan Almera along the Auchenskeoch Road, Buccoo, around 9.35 pm on Sunday, February 5 when several gunshots were heard. The vehicle spun out of control and ran off the roadway into some nearby bushes. Passersby, who called the police, took Roberts out the vehicle and placed him on the pavement. He was rushed to the Scarborough General Hospital in a police vehicle, but succumbed to his injuries while undergoing emergency surgery around 10.20 pm. According to the autopsy, he was shot three times in the chest.
In an interview last Friday, Mr Roberts described his son as a loving child, and said he was as yet to understand why someone would want to harm him.
“Right now, I have forgiven the killers but at the same time, I am of the belief that once you do wrong, justice must be served. “I am moving on slowly but personally I cannot get it out of my mind. I hurt every day because this loss is a different kind of loss.
“If you are sick, we would understand. You get into an accident, we will feel it, but then when someone takes your life, it is a different story. As a parent…if it is your brother or sister you will hurt a lot, but as a parent… I always believed that my kids should bury me but when you have to bury your child.”
Father to six children, Mr Roberts said that he has spent the last ten months reassessing his own life in search of the said answers.
“Sometimes I even resort to asking myself what kind of wrong I did that I am now paying the price for… this is a pain that is endless. You really cannot do anything about the pain, you must move on…” he said.
Albert is hopeful that his son’s killers will be found.
“I am very confident that eventually we'll get an answer. Since the incident, the police have been in constant contact with my family. There is information I believe they have that they aren’t sharing, but in the interest of justice, I am okay with that. We’re generally encouraged by what we hear from them, and my sense is they’re still actively pursuing several leads.
“I am a fisherman, I have real patience … we will get justice. The police will bring whosoever did that to justice,” he said.
Mr Roberts, who visits his son’s grave diligently every month, said justice for his son was not just about making his killer pay, but about protecting the Buccoo community and Tobago as a whole.
“I am hoping that the police will make every effort to get the guns off the streets and that we would have no more murders for 2017 into 2018 because the crime situation is very bad.
“It is a bit scary now as a Tobagonian… things are changing. I believe parents need to play a more responsible role in the lives of their children. It have plenty guns on the street, I’m hoping that things change and things get different… Trinidad and Tobago, but more so Tobago, to me (the crime situation) is scary,” he said.
Tobago has recorded, to date, 12 murders for this year, compared to six in 2016, seven in 2015, eight in 2014 and four in 2013.