Harpe Place murder victim laid to rest

Funeral program for Devon Randy Jack, who was shot and killed on Harpe Street along with four other people. - Photo by Joey Bartlett
Funeral program for Devon Randy Jack, who was shot and killed on Harpe Street along with four other people. - Photo by Joey Bartlett

SPEAKING at the funeral of Devon Randy Jack, one of five people murdered in a shooting spree at Harpe Place, Fr Matthew D'Hereaux encouraged mourners to feel their emotions, but warned them not to be consumed and led by anger.

Feelings ran high at Jack's send-off as hundreds of people showed up to the Holy Rosary RC Church, at the corner of Park and Henry Streets, Port of Spain, to pay their respects on March 26.

D’Hereaux called for the return of "conscience," citing Matthew 26:75 from the Bible.

“Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, before the cock crow, thou shall deny me three times. And he went out and wept bitterly.”

He said the cock crowing represented Peter’s conscience, denying Jesus despite knowing it was wrong. D’Hereaux urged everyone to listen to their conscience, do what is right and follow the word of God, saying Jesus is the only one who can bring peace and healing to Trinidad and Tobago.

Moving away from the teaching of Peter, he then spoke of Judas and the Last Supper, calling for all to be more like Christ. He said Judas was consumed with greed and hate and could not see the love that surrounded him. Judas found it hard to humble himself before God and called for the nation to humble itself before God. He stressed the importance of living in love.

As the services came to an end and mourners viewed Jack’s body before it was taken to be buried, one woman, clad in a black dress, sunglasses and a black-veiled hat, fainted. She had to be carried away.

Mourners paying their respects to Devon Randy Jack at Holy Rosary RC Church. Jack was one of five people killed during a mass shooting at Harpe Place on March 16.  - Photo by Joey Bartlett

As scores of people flocked towards the casket, pushing for a final glimpse of Jack's body, the church’s stairs and entryway were crammed with people trying to get in. Many had to leave through the side entrance.

On March 16, Jack and other people were at a birthday lime around 10.55 am near the entrance of the Housing Development Corporation apartment complex, off Observatory Street, when a car drove into the compound and its occupants started shooting, hitting eight people.

Videos of the incident on social media showed people scattering for safety.

Pete Noray and Jack died in hospital, and Rudolph James, Randy Graves, and Sgt Larry Phillip died at the scene.

Richard Pierre, Wendell Primus and Akina Thomas were also shot but did not die.

Police say the shooting was gang-related. Crime Scene Unit investigators found a variety of shell casings, including 7.62, 5.56, and 9mm-calibre shells.

Port of Spain deputy mayor Abena Hartley called the shooting unfortunate. She said these communities continue to experience loss of life in this way, and representatives at the local level can provide support and social programmes as a form of comfort.

“It’s unfortunate this continues to happen and the children in these communities are witnessing this almost on a daily basis now. It's very, very sad.”

Housing and Urban Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis also condemned the shootings and murders.


"Harpe Place murder victim laid to rest"

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