THE last thing Military Police Sgt Ken Palmer told his common-law wife Radica was to get their children away as a gunman cornered him in the front yard of his Gasparillo home on Thursday evening. Palmer was then shot dead.
Radica Pooran, 40, said she heeded her common-law husband’s advice and as the gunshots rang out, she turned around in time to see Palmer fall to the ground. Palmer was shot during an argument with Pooran’s relatives who live next door to their Dallo Road, Gasparillo home. Palmer was a staff sergeant with the TT Regiment and had been a member of the Defence Force for the past 20 years.
Pooran’s nephew Ravi Pooran, 30, was also shot during the fracas and remains warded at San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) in critical condition. Up to yesterday evening, the gunman was still on the run.
On Thursday, hours after the shooting, Radica in an interview with Newsday, said the fatal shooting was the culmination of years of bad blood between Palmer and certain members of her family. “Ken was in the yard when (name called) arrived in a car and asked him what he was looking at. Ken said, ‘I not on allyuh’ and it is then things got heated,” Pooran said. She added that her relative got out of the car with a blade in his hand and Palmer grabbed a piece of iron to defend himself. The weeping woman said other relatives jumped into the fray and her common-law husband was soon outnumbered.
“Ken tried to defend himself with the iron but one of the fellas jumped on him and he couldn’t move the iron anymore. The one with the blade thought it wasn’t enough so he ran straight into his mother’s house and came back with a gun. Ken told me to get the children to safety and as I turned, I heard the gunshot,” Pooran said.
The shooting took place in full view of the couple’s two young children, son Kayron and daugher Kylee. With Palmer dead and Pooran (Ravi) wounded, the gunman then tried to attack her, Radica said adding, “But the shots missed and I end up inside also.”
Pooran said certain relatives were worried that Palmer, as a member of the Defence Force, would report them for illegal activities and constantly harassed him because of it. “But Ken always said what they are doing is their business once they don’t interfere with his family. They were always threatening him, throwing talk and molesting him. But he never retaliated.” Pooran said she made dozens of reports to the police but was advised to, “bring them up in court.”