When prisons officer Devendra Boodooram would carry out his wife Asha and see an elderly couple he would say “That is us when we grow old.”
But the couple will never have a chance to grow old together as Boodooram was shot and killed by a gunman in Port of Spain on Friday afternoon. Now Asha Boodooram has to wonder how she will be able to care for her two daughters.
“You mash up my family. I am a happy and proud single parent thanks to them.”
Sunday Newsday spoke with Boodooram at her Lopinot home yesterday as she was surrounded and comforted by family and friends.
On Friday at about 5.10 pm, Boodooram, 50, was driving a silver Honda CRV on upper Frederick Street, in front of St Mary’s College, when he was shot by a gunman. He died in the vehicle. He was shot once to the head, once to the neck and twice to the chest.
Prison Commissioner Gerard Wilson previously told Newsday he believed the killing was linked to a video purportedly showing masked prison officers beating a group of restrained prisoners. There was a second video in which an individual threatened retaliation against prison officers.
Wilson visited with Boodooram yesterday and offered his condolences and support and Boodooram said the prison officers had been very supportive. She also believed that her husband was murdered because of the video.
“They just kill somebody. He was not even there (when the incident happened).”
A relative said they were concerned about the second video in which the man threatened prison officers and their relatives. Asha said her husband had not received any death threats and in his 24 years in the prison service he received no more than three threats. She said her husband was a “yes boy,” “would not mash a fly” and he liked to please people.
“He was a wonderful husband, a great provider, a wonderful father, a wonderful son and brother. He was everything.”
She recalled her husband would make her laugh every day and had a good sense of humour. They had been married 23 years and have two daughters, the elder is an open scholarship winner currently studying in the US and who has made it onto the dean’s list.
She said if you asked 100 people about him, 99 of them would speak well of him. Her husband loved to ride motorbikes, to cook by the river, and have river and beach limes.
“He loved being with his family. He was never too tired to do anything.” She said her husband would come home after a hard day’s work and she would ask him to go to Los Iros Bay and he would not refuse.
“For 23 years I never heard him say he is tired yet.”
She said he was very close with his daughters and would hold hands and pray with his younger daughter in the car every day.
“We would ask God to protect our family at school, at the workplace. Protect and keep us safe. My faith in God just went down after (he was killed).”
Her husband had been at Port of Spain prison for three years in the construction division and had previously worked at Carrera Island prison. He had only recently returned to work from vacation.
She said she heard about her husband’s death two hours after the fact. She recalled two friends had called her and asked about her husband and she told them he was at work. Then a school friend and prison colleague came to see her and asked where was her husband.
“I ask him what happened. But he did not tell me what happened.”
After ten minutes her husband’s friend showed her a video of her dead husband and then media personality Ian Alleyne arrived at her house.Boodooram said she was angry that the police had not contacted her earlier.
“Somebody should have just call and say something.”
The day he died, her husband was planning to go to the Ladies Night Out concert. During their last conversation, after he had finished his 8 am to 4.30 pm shift and two minutes before he was killed, he told her he had gotten tickets and they would go to the concert after making “a cook.”
“I said, ‘Alright baby. Take care. Be safe. No drinking and driving.’”
She then told her mother-in-law next door that her husband was not coming home and she did not have to save any food for him.
Relatives yesterday said they were numb and devastated. They recalled visiting the nearby Supernovas Steel Orchestra pan yard for a lime last Saturday.
“We real dance,” his wife recalled.
The family is a big supporter of the band and they were also planning to play J’Ouvert with Supernovas.
“I really wish these senseless killings would come to an end. They mashing up people families. I did not know it would happen to me.”
Boodooram said her heart would go out to families after they lost a relative in an accident.
“It is not nice going home and you have nobody to go home to.”
Investigations into Boodooram’s murder are ongoing.