Slain Fyzabad soldier remembered as people person, defender

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Pallbearers carry the body of Junior Chase at His Holiness Holy Sanctuary, Market Road, Fyzabad. Chase was shot and killed earlier this month on Cipero Street in San Fernando. – AYANNA KINSALE

Tears and laughter filled the His Holiness Holy Sanctuary in Fyzabad, where the funeral of slain soldier Junior Junio Chase took place on Monday.

His bereaved father, Leroy Chase, 61, shared fond memories of Junior growing up and being the “livewire” of any group he was in. From a child, Junior had always been a people person.

To the fathers who are away from their children, Chase said: “Children need their fathers, their parents. Put down the guns. Be there for your children.

“For those who know their children are involved in crimes – talk to your sons, talk to your daughters. Let us make this world a better place.”

His son, the father of three, 35, was shot dead at the corner of Lawrence and Cipero Streets in San Fernando at around 4.30 am on April 15. He was trying to quell an argument between a female friend and a man.

Junior, also called Young Hammer and Snipers Don’t Miss, of Fyzabad, was a corporal in the regiment.

Members of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment at the funeral of Junior Chase during his funeral at His Holiness Holy Sanctuary, Market Road, Fyzabad. Chase was shot and killed earlier this month on Cipero Street in San Fernando. – AYANNA KINSALE

Chase reminisced that Junior never liked to see people taking advantage of others, and from a young age, he often got into trouble for defending others.

Leroy said, “This last situation is nothing new. He always felt that he was a defender of those being taken advantage of. He was hardened but never a rude child.”

Mourners burst into laughter when Leroy said he had a unique talent of being able to spot an iguana from a moving vehicle.

As a boy, he said Junior had a knack for the “military style of things” and was anxious to join the army. He also joined the regiment’s band, playing drums.

Chase said, “My prayer is that this death is not in vain. May his children be taken care of, please – not fancy sneakers or brands.

“I asked his son last night what he wants to be when he grows up. He said he wants to be a soldier. He emulates his father.”

Virginia Roxborough Chase, wife of Junior Chase is consoled by Lance Corporal Onika Willams during his funeral at His Holiness Holy Sanctuary, Market Road, Fyzabad. Chase was shot and killed earlier this month on Cipero Street in San Fernando. – AYANNA KINSALE

Again, mourners burst into laughter when he added, “I hope his comrades look out for his son and do not reject him when he applies (for the job).”

Chase told the packed congregation that one of the last things Junior did was to hug his children. He promised to take them to the beach on Monday (April 18). Instead, he was shot dead on April 15.

“Monday never came. I got call at 4.30 am that my son was dead,” Chase said.

He urged youths to accept the Lord at a young age, saying doing so is a benefit.

Rev Lt Kwame Clarke officiated and prayed for peace for the bereaved family, saying “the enemy” is trying to divide them. He said there is nothing that happens in this world that shocks God.

Clarke added, “There is a purpose in the pain we feel even in difficult periods of our lives. Even in the midst of our difficult situation, we have to keep our eyes open to God.”

Junior’s Chase’s body was not on show at the church.

He was given full military rites and the body was taken to the military cemetery at Long Circular Road in St James for burial.

No one has been arrested and Homicide Bureau Region III police are investigating the murder.