Slain Fyzabad prison officer’s brother: Death was following him

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Joel Jones, brother of murdered Prison officer Nigel Jones speaking with Newsday at his Siparia home on Tuesday. – Lincoln Holder

Murdered prison officer Nigel Jones rarely spoke about his work life to relatives, but was deeply mourning the shooting death of his colleague.

Jones’ brother Joel Jones told Newsday on Tuesday, “Any aspect of his job, we know nothing about. We know he ran a youth group in prison. We know he was grieving for his colleague (Trevor Serrette) because he took the death hard. The kind of person Nigel was, he would have surely gone to the funeral.”

Moments before his death on Monday afternoon, relatives said Jones, 38, watched two movies at the family’s Siparia home, tried to repair his damaged car, then walked out the road with his daughter.

Another brother, Darryl, said, “Death was following him, and he did not know it. He was here the whole morning and left to pick up his daughter from a daycare (in the area) before walking out with her to buy a few items. We heard the shots from home,”

On Monday afternoon, Jones’s four-year-old daughter was standing next to him at the Fyzabad taxi stand in Siparia when gunmen opened fire from a car, killing him on the spot. She was uninjured and ran off screaming.

The father and daughter were waiting for a taxi to go home to Fyzabad.

Repeatedly Darryl bashed the police response to the murder, saying a marked police van was behind the gunmen’s car, yet they escaped.

“From home, we heard the sounds of the police siren about three seconds after the shots. How come the murderers got away?” he said.

The police denied similar claims made by social media users that they allowed the murderers to escape. Police said officers tried to intercept the getaway car and called for backup.

“To say my brother was a good man is an understatement. He was the best of the best, a strong Christian. He was a devoted member of the Way of Holiness church in Point Fortin,” Darryl said.

Without giving details, he added that Jones had been in a different mood since Serrette’s death.

Asked about the status of Jones’s only child, relatives said she was confused about why people killed him. They said she even asked, “Why didn’t they shoot him on his pinky finger? Why the head?”

Relatives said she was staying with her mother, a psychologist. No one was at their home in Fyzabad when Newsday visited.

Both Jones and Serrette worked at the Wayne Jackson Building at the Maximum Security Prison in Arouca.

Serrette, of Sangre Grande, was gunned down at his fruit stall on Friday in Valencia.

South Western Division and Homicide Bureau Region III police are investigating.