Thirty-one-year-old Joel Apparicio was “innocently gunned down” by a Special Reserve Police officer in San Juan yesterday morning, according to his mother Pastor Wendy Apparicio.
“That man! That man there killed my son! Why? Oh God why!?” screamed Pastor Wendy as she pointed at the police officer who reportedly shot Apparicio. At the time the pastor, who officiates at the Jesus Elam Revival Assembly in San Juan, was struggling to maintain her composure as she stood over her son’s body mere moments after he was killed. All the while the officer in question was on a cellular phone, seated in the driver’s seat of a black Nissan X-Trail motor vehicle parked next to Joel Apparicio’s body.
In an emotional attempt to prove her son’s innocence Pastor Wendy emptied her son’s pockets to the small crowd that had gathered — in full view of the officer in the car — to show that Apparicio had nothing illegal on him. No attempts were made by the lawman to inform her that her actions could potentially contaminate the scene.
“All yuh see this right!? No gun, no knife, no weed, nothing! So what you kill my son for?” screamed Pastor Wendy at the driver of the vehicle.
Inconsolable, she began shouting for all who would listen that her son had got into a disagreement with a group of men in the Croisee, and that he was actually running to the police for help.
“This girl (name called) accused him of being a paedophiliac and those boys in the Croisee heard about it and was roughing him up. He run away from that group because he decide to take front and was running to the police station to talk to them about that and about them fellas. I was walking up the road right behind him, when (at about 11.45 a.m.) that policeman just pull up next to him and shoot him down. You eh even get out your car, nothing? You just drive up next to him, roll down your window and shoot him? That is madness! That boy doh be in anything! He doesn’t drink! He doesn’t smoke! He doesn’t do anything!” shouted Pastor Wendy.
When approached by Express, the distraught woman refused to speak, saying she was not in the right frame of mind. She however continued to loudly render her version of the incident to all who would listen.
After about ten minutes, parties of officers from the North Eastern Division Police Station, the San Juan Police Station, the Rapid Response Unit, the Barataria Police Station, and the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, among others, began arriving. It was then that some of the officers who arrived confronted Pastor Wendy for potentially “contaminating” the scene.
This resulted in the distraught woman arguing with the officers and her removal from the scene by a relative who was afraid that the situation would “escalate further.”
The policemen then cordoned off the area, but they repeatedly moved the caution tape further and further along the roadway. However, this action was chastised by residents who claimed that the officers were only pushing the people away so that they could cover up their tracks.
“Why all yuh keep on moving us? Why all yuh doing that? We already see everything, that he had nothing on him, and that he was just killed just so, just so. So what alya pushing us so far back for? What all yuh trying to hide?” exclaimed an elderly gentleman.
While at the scene, Express also overheard an instruction that some police officers received to “remove themselves from the scene” immediately followed by the said officers leaving the area.
In fact, it was also observed that Senior Supt of Police John Daniel arrived on the scene and, after a conversation with some lawmen behind the caution tape, he too left the area.