Killed on Good Friday: Father mourns ‘good soldier’ son

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Leroy Chase remembers his son Junior Chase who was killed on Good Friday morning in San Fernando. – AYANNA KINSALE

WITH tears in his eyes as he sat in the gallery of his home in Pepper Village, Fyzabad, Leroy Chase reflected on how his son Junior, 35, died on the same day that his father William(93), died eight years ago- Good Friday.

Junior, a corporal in the TT Regiment, was shot dead around 4.30 am on Friday while buying food at the corner of Lawrence and Cipero Streets, in San Fernando.

As he spoke about Junior, Chase remembered that his father, William, died of natural causes on Good Friday in 2014. “To think I lost my father on Good Friday. Now my son died on the same day.”

Chase, 61, a former security guard, said Junior and his girlfriend Crystal Moore, 25, went out on Thursday night.

“During this morning, I received a phone call from the girl (Moore), saying that Junior was shot and he was dead.”

Chase said he asked Moore, “What do you mean he’s dead? Where are you?”

He remembered Moore telling him they were in San Fernando. Before the phone call abruptly cut off, Chase said Moore told him, “No. He’s alive” Chase said he went to San Fernando around 7 am and saw Junior’s body on the ground with a bullet wound to the head. He said police officers were on the scene at the time.

Junior always aspired to be a soldier as a young boy, he said.

“He always loved it. It was his passion.” Chase remembered often telling Junior to “be a good soldier, don’t be a rogue soldier. Keep on the good side, respect the uniform.” Junior planned to stay in the regiment until he retired. Chase also said Junior loved to cook and wanted to open a restaurant when he retired.

Asked the type of person Junior was, Chase replied, “He was always a people person. He didn’t like to see people take advantage of other people.”

Junior and Moore were buying gyros from a vendor when he was shot. Moore has two children, a four year old daughter and two year old son from another relationship.

Chase said someone close to Moore, who was known to the police, allegedly had an altercation with her while they were buying food. He did not know whether Junior tried to intervene to stop the argument.

According to Chase, “While the altercation was going on, I understand that one of the guy’s friends started shooting.”

He said Junior had a licensed firearm on him. “Apparently, he did not get much chance to use it because he was trying to protect the girl.” Chase said he was told Junior was shot twice in his head and once in his back.

Asked about the last conversation he had with Junior, Chase said that was on Thursday evening. Chase pointed to a nearby gate at the property’s driveway.

“He was supposed to do something with me with the gate here.” They were going to install an electronically-controlled gate. Chase said he called Junior at 4 pm on Thursday to find out if they were going to work on the gate as they planned. But he said Junior told him he was in Chaguanas at the time.

Junior, Moore and her two children lived in a small apartment on the same property with Chase. They had been together for almost a year. Chase said Junior was divorced and had three children.

At another house close by, Junior’s mother Lorraine Alexander, 63, was being consoled by relatives. Chase said she was very distraught over his murder.

Police investigations are ongoing.