Pastor at murdered Carapo man's funeral: 'Something wrong in this village'

Pallbearers carry the casket of Ryan Sookraj, one of the five men shot dead last Saturday of Race Course Road in Carapo. Photo by Sureash Cholai.
Pallbearers carry the casket of Ryan Sookraj, one of the five men shot dead last Saturday of Race Course Road in Carapo. Photo by Sureash Cholai.

The relatives of Ryan Sookraj are praying for strength and justice to be delivered, almost a week after he and four other men were gunned down in Carapo.

Sookraj, 26, was shot dead while liming with his friends Jimmy Poon, Avinash Sookraj, Radesh Pooran and Russel Poon last Saturday afternoon.

Sookraj, a labourer and part-time vendor was laid to rest after a short ceremony at his family's Pinewood Drive home on Friday afternoon.

His younger sister Sarah Sookraj delivered an emotional eulogy in which she thanked relatives for their support and prayed that God would guide and comfort them through their grief.

"On August 21 we all received the gruesome news about Ryan and his friends. We are still in disbelief and wish this was just a rumour.

"We pray that those who did this heinous crime are brought to justice."

Sookraj said her brother would be remembered for his strong work ethic and love for his three-year-old daughter, whom he worked hard to support.

She said while construction was halted during the second lockdown, Sookraj invested in a grocery cart and would buy produce wholesale to sell.

Mourners sit at the funeral service of Ryan Sookraj. Photo by Sureash Cholai.

During his homily, Pastor Jerome Rampersad of the Carapo Open Bible Missionary Baptist Church said while it was difficult for Sookraj's friends and relatives to accept his death, it was a fact that must be faced, and implored loved ones to seek refuge in faith.

He said while questions over the motive for Sookraj's murder remain unanswered, the community should resist evil to prevent further bloodshed.

"We wish that this was just a bad dream, but we must face reality, because it happened. We have many questions, but we have no answers for those questions.

"So much blood has been shed in this village, so many lives snuffed out, I am asking the question how many more must die in this village before we realise that God is trying to get our attention.

"It is my prayer, my plea this afternoon that everyone will take note that something is wrong in our village and we must not allow the enemy to come and steal, kill, destroy and wreak havoc in this community."

Rampersad said he knew Sookraj and his sister when they attended his church Sunday school as children, and remembered him as someone who valued family.

During tributes from mourners, Sookraj's mother-in-law Debra Friday said she would remember him as a provider who worked tirelessly to support her daughter and granddaughter.

Recalling the evening of his murder, Friday said she was overcome with grief and could not believe he was among those killed.

"The day I got this news, I was now coming in from work and I saw a lot of missed calls on my phone. That's when I knew something was wrong.

"Then my daughter called me and said, 'Ryan dead.' I dropped the phone when I heard that.

"Ryan didn't deserve this. He was a really good one."

After the ceremony several relatives had to be consoled as a final viewing of Sookraj's body was allowed.

Sookraj was buried at the Carapo Public Cemetery.


"Pastor at murdered Carapo man’s funeral: ‘Something wrong in this village’"

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