Paralysed shooting victim gets help

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Newsday reporter Gregory McBurnie interviews Nathan Pierre at his Upper Trou Macaque Road, Laventille home on April 5. – Photo by Roger Jacob

COUNCILLOR for Success/Trou Macaque Adanna Griffith-Gordon said she has been laising with Nathan Pierre and his family to assist in making life easier after he was left paralysed because of a stray bullet.

Pierre is one of the victims of the Courts Megastore, El Socorro, shooting in December 2023. On April 7, Newsday spoke with Pierre at his hillside home in Trou Macaque.

Griffith-Gordon said she and the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation had already bought some of the materials needed to build a walkway for Pierre.

She said additional materials are being sourced and construction will commence “soon.”

In a phone interview with Newsday on April 9, Griffith-Gordon said she had been in contact with the family before Newsday’s article on April 7. Griffith-Gordon said the regional corporation, the community and his father will assist with in construction.

“The community has stepped up and wants to help.”

She told Newsday she has liaised with the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services in an effort to create a sustainable long-term plan for Pierre’s needs.

“A case worker has already been assigned and is expected to visit the family before the week is out.”

A representative for the East Port of Spain Development Company Ltd (EPOS) said after reading Pierre’s story, where a public appeal was made for a wheelchair, EPOS responded within 24 hours and through a donation from the Back to Basics Foundation, EPOS was able to provide a wheelchair.

“EPOS is exploring additional ways to assist Pierre beyond the immediate provisions. A team from EPOS visited him and assessed his living conditions to see which of our programmes he could potentially benefit from.”

The company’s represenative said Pierre has qualified for the Latrine Eradication Programme which replaces outdoor pit latrines and inadequate toilet facilities with modern toilet and bathroom facilities.

He has also been recommended for the home improvement programme offered by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, which is the parent company for EPOS.

The representative said the company and its staff are praying for Pierre’s recovery and are committed to assisting in whatever way it can.

Sherice Lawerence Pierre’s girlfriend told Newsday on April 9 he was gifted six wheelchairs and they are donating the additional five to other families in need.

In a statement sent to Newsday via WhatsApp, Shahad Ali, public relations officer of Unicomer Ltd, the parent company for the Courts retail brand, said December’s incident was deeply unfortunate. He added, “Our hearts go out to all those affected by the tragic incident.”

Responding to Newsday’s inquiry about the company’s postion on helping Pierre, Ali said, “Please understand that these discussions involve careful consideration and coordination with various stakeholders.”

He ended his statement by asking for patience and understanding as the company “works through these steps,” and the company thoughts remain with the victims and their families during their “challenging time.”

The shooting in December left two siblings dead and two others wounded.

Pierre was at the furniture store to purchase a bed to furnish his new starter home.