Harpe Place hero’s family needs help

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Anita James, right, wife of Harpe Place murder victim Rudolph James, with their children Arita, Abiona, Azia and Adon at the family’s home in Belmont on Monday. – Photo by Roger Jacob

RELATIVES of 46-year-old Rudolph James, the man who sacrificed his life to save another’s during the Harpe Place massacre on March 16, are calling for help for funeral arrangements.

James, the father of five, was the sole breadwinner of his home. His wife Anita, suffers from multiple sclerosis, which has left her bedridden. Although she receives public assistance, relatives said the funeral arrangements are out of reach financially for the family.

James’s relatives told Newsday they now have to source about $16,000 to hold a proper funeral for the heroic father.

“We just want to be able to lay him to rest,” said one of his three daughters in a brief conversation with Newsday.

On March 16, James went to Port of Spain to get groceries for his family to make lunch. On his way back he stopped at Harpe Place, where he was well known, to visit a person celebrating their birthday. That move proved to be his last, as gunmen stormed the apartment complex and started shooting indiscriminately, hitting eight people.

James flung himself on top of another person and shielded her from the hail of bullets. The woman he shielded survived, but he was killed, along with 51-year-old police sergeant Larry Phillip, 32-year-old Randy Greaves, 49-year-old Peter Noray and 42-year-old Devon Jack.

Relatives said the Ministry of National Security contacted the family, expressing the minister’s intention to visit the home. They also said the Ministry of Social Development contacted them to offer counselling.

People interested in helping the James family can contact them at 702-5053.