Shelly Jacobs the aunt of 24-year-old Coast Guardsman Gyasi Richardson is calling for a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.
Richardson was on patrol aboard the coast guard vessel, the Speyside on Tuesday when he was shot in the head by accident, when a colleague attempted to clean his weapon near Richardson.
Newsday spoke to Jacobs at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, who said her nephew was a dedicated sailor who had dreams of climbing the ranks of the coast guard.
“He was a really nice young man. Very disciplined and committed to the military life. He graduated at the top of his batch when he passed out last year.
“Joining the coast guard really gave him a sense of purpose and discipline. He was always a good boy even from his days at Queen’s Royal College.”
Asked if she could bring herself to forgive the sailor responsible for the accident, Jacobs said her forgiveness could happen after he was penalised.
“I’m a mother with children in the same age bracket as Gyasi but I’m also a teacher and a dean. I want to forgive him but justice has to be done first. He (the sailor) should face some reprimand.”
Jacobs said she was a surrogate mother to Richardson as a child.
She said when she received the call about the accident, she was not told of her nephew’s condition.
“I wasn’t getting a lot of infornation at first.
When I first went to the hospital I thought it was just an injury he received and he might have to stay home for a while from work but when I heard the officers saying they were sending a car for his father, I knew something was wrong.”
The 21-year-old sailor who fired the weapon is being investigated.
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