Mother: Police came to rob man they shot dead in Icacos

Michelle Richards, the mother of 38-year-old Kern
Michelle Richards, the mother of 38-year-old Kern "Cava" Richards who was shot dead at his Icacos home by police on Friday. Photo by Lincoln Holder

RESIDENTS of Icacos say they are outraged over the police killing of Kern "Cava" Richards of Bouge Grande Chemin Road on Friday morning.

His mother, Michelle Richards, said her family will get justice even if it means taking matters into her own hands.

Neighbours said around 4.45 am, they heard gunshots at the 38-year-old's house.

Richards' ex-girlfriend, the mother of his 11-year-old son Kimberly Soomai, lives nearby and said she called out to other neighbours when she heard them. She said his current partner witnessed what happened and she took her to the Point Fortin Hospital.

She also said the police asked where the nearest hospital was, as they were not familiar with the area, saying they were from St Joseph.

His mother was visibly and audibly angry when speaking to media hours after the incident, adding that other than smoking marijuana, "My child was in nothing for police to kill him with gun.

"They come to rob him and kill him. They take all he gold and he money. He is not no criminal. Them stinking police from quite St Joseph come down here to kill my son.

The ID card of 38-year-old Kern "Cava" Richards who was shot dead at his Icacos home by police on Friday. - Photo by Lincoln Holder

"I know I am not getting justice from the police, so I will get it elsewhere. If I don't get justice, I will climb the highest mountain and go in the deepest sea for him. Let me only get that officer name. I will do for them."

She said Richards, the eldest of four, had just turned 38 on February 25, and had never killed or robbed anyone.

She said she expects police to "make up a story" that he had a gun on him and fired at them.

He was a loving child, she said, and she never expected to end up on the news mourning a child who was killed by the police.

SHOT DEAD: Kern "Cava" Richards. -

There was a trail of blood on the ground at his home and neighbours claimed the police dragged him away after shooting him. They also said the police vehicle in which he was transported in had crashed.

One neighbour, Ancel Lemessy, told Newsday Richards was a jovial, good person who was a mentor to many.

"He was the first sports officer of the Icacos Youth Group. He was a coach and mentor for many youths, since he played football...This whole village crying, from the young to the old. He was a very nice, loving person."

He said Richards earned a living through illegally importing animals from Venezuela, and while "everyone knows what he does," he was not a bad person.

"It have three areas of work in Icacos: coconuts, fishing and Venezuela.

"That is the business the man has been doing. The man does buy cattle, goat, sheep, honey, gold, milk, cheese, weed...that is the hustle in Icacos. Parrot, bird, monkey, goat...If that is a criminal offence, then come and lock up the whole village. What else it have for we?"

Lemessy is a fire offer and also has a small coconut oil business.

He said Richards was fluent in Spanish and some years ago, a former teacher persuaded him to sit the CSEC Spanish exam. He did and got a grade one.

He said his last conversation with Richards was pleasant and fun, as they were telling each other jokes.

"My heart hurting me, family. I still talking to you calmly, but earlier on it was worse."

Lemessy is calling on the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to launch an immediate investigation.

"The PCA like to tell you to come to Port of Spain. Let them come to Icacos, they have that investigative power to come here and visit.

He agreed with Richards' mother.

"They murdered him and I don't care what they want to say, that's what they did. And their story is the same story they have been using in regards to killing people in Port of Spain and Laventille for years.

Police at the home of 38-year-old Kern "Cava" Richards who was shot dead on Friday. - Photo by Lincoln Holder

In a release on Friday afternoon, the police said, "Officers of the Northern Division went to Richards’ home to execute a search warrant for arms and ammunition. On arrival at the premises, there was a confrontation between Richards and the police during which he was shot.

"Richards was transported to the Point Fortin Area Hospital, where he was subsequently pronounced dead. A pistol was recovered at the scene."


"Mother: Police came to rob man they shot dead in Icacos"

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