A religious leader is calling on people to be forgiving of other people’s mistakes and learn to appreciate each other.
At the funeral for 31-year-old prison officer Joel Ramsoondar, who was killed on October 7 in a police-involved shooting, Rev Dr Dale Des Vignes said, "Forgive people, leave them in the hands of God. Appreciate, love, and support one another, and we will have a better community, a better society.
"Make time for God. This has nothing to do with religion, but relations with God."
Scores of mourners, including members of the protective services, gathered at the family’s home at Enterprise, Chaguanas on Friday afternoon to pay their final respect. Many of them wept while viewing the body.
Ramsoondar, also called Rambo and Jojo, was married and had two children. He worked as a prison officer for the past eight years and was last posted at the maximum security prison in Arouca. Before that, he worked as a member of the TT Regiment for three years.
DesVignes encouraged mourners to do not wait until it is too late to serve God.
"When you have the opportunity to love and forgive others, reach out and do that. The choices we make would determine our destiny. None of us knows what tomorrow holds."
He called on young people to embrace, honour, and give thanks to their parents. He also encouraged parents to appreciate and love their children.
DesVignes considered Ramsoondar a "blessing and a true soldier."
A flyer at the funeral said Ramsoondar's love for his family was unconditional. He loved his family as much as he loved his belly, it said.
"He was a charmer. He lit up every room he entered with his vibrance, jokes, and laughter," the flyer said.
Reports are police, acting on information, were at Ramsoondar’s home at John Street in Chaguanas on October 7 when he and another man, later identified as Venezuelan Alejandra Gonzales, opened fire on them.
The officers returned fire, killing both.