Officers of the Professional Standards Bureau of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service have been assigned, alongside officers of the Homicide Bureau of Investigation, to investigate the death of 31-year-old Joel Apparicio, who was killed on Thursday morning by a Special Reserve policeman (SRP) in San Juan.
This was confirmed to the Express yesterday by senior officers, who also noted that the SRP, who was last attached to the Witness Protection Unit of the Homicide Bureau and worked at a sub-station in San Juan, was currently assisting investigators with their inquiries.
These inquiries, sources said, were expected to be placed in “high gear” this weekend as an autopsy, which was conducted yesterday morning at Forensic Science Centre in St James by pathologist Dr Hughvon Des Vignes, has revealed that Apparicio was killed by a single bullet.
The bullet entered the left side of his chest, perforating several vital organs, before exiting on the right side of his chest.
The autopsy report appears to lend some credibility to the version of events given by Apparicio’s mother, Pastor Wendy Apparicio, that the police officer had driven up to her son as he was running up Real Street, San Juan, and shot him once without warning.
Speaking to the Express yesterday, Apparicio’s brother Johnathan said the family was still hurting over the series of events, and they were just trying to come to terms with the incident.
He noted that, up to press time, no one from the Police Service Support Unit, or even investigators, had contacted his family to ask questions or even offer condolences, something which he found was “very unnerving”.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be made.
Investigations are continuing.