Grandfather shot, killed in Diego Martin

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

From left, Velerie Decle and Pachilli Douglas, wife and daughter respectively, of murdered URP formeman Vince Decle, 54, speak with Newsday reporter Joey Bartlett at the Forensics Science Centre in St James on March 6. – Photo by Faith Ayoung

A 54-year-old father and grandfather of four was shot and killed on March 6 at his home. His family told Newsday they were confused and still in shock over his shooting death.

Vince Decle, a foreman at the Unemployment Relief Programme for over ten years, was shot outside his home at River Estate Diego Martin and taken to the St James Medical Complex.

Decle’s daughter, Pachilli Douglas, spoke at the Forensic Science Centre in St James. She said her father was at home boiling beetroot to eat before the shooting occurred, saying he was diabetic and the vegetable was his favourite.

Douglas believes someone called him to the front of the house, saying it appeared he was standing at the left rear of his vehicle when he was shot.

“It looked like he picked up one shot and was holding his wound, because his hands had blood; he may have locked the gate, then ran around the car and tried to get into the car, but collapsed.”

She said a neighbour on her way home saw Decle lying motionless on the ground and flagged down a passing car. The driver, along with other people, then went back to where her father lay, and they called the police.

Douglas said officers from the Four Roads police station took her father to the St James Hospital.

She said her children’s taxi driver called her, offering condolences.

“I did not know what she was talking about. She said to me, they just shoot and kill my father. I was so confused. I went to the hospital, but he was already dead.”

Douglas did not know if her father died at the hospital.

She described him as a good, kindhearted, talkative person.

“If my head hurts, I know I can depend on him for a tablet; he would do anything for his grandchildren.

” Only my eldest son, who is 14, knows what happened. The others don’t know their grandfather is dead.”

Decle’s widow Valerie said she and Decle were married for 15 years and together for 29, saying she will remember him as a fun-loving person who enjoyed life.

“He loved carrying his grandchildren to the beach, he loved to dance. He just loved family time. He was a jolly, loving person. Sometimes he would just take the broom, use it like a mic and start singing.”

Valerie said her husband did not have any enemies.

“Everyone loved him, he was a jovial person. As far as I know, he did not owe anyone, he did not have any beef with anyone. He was a hardworking grandfather who loved having a good time.”

She said she was at work when her sister-in-law called to let her know what had happened, then left and headed to the St James Hospital, where she was told he was already dead. She is also unsure if he died at the hospital or at the scene.

“The crime situation is ridiculous.”

The grieving woman said this is not her family’s first loss to gun violence: 12 years earlier, her first son was shot and killed.

“I had four kids: two boys and two girls. My firstborn was shot and killed after his brother died due to complications related to diabetes.”

She said she is leaning on God for strength.

Police visited and processed the scene, collecting several spent shells.