PORT OF SPAIN –– Regiment officer Corporal Jerry Leacock told his neighbours and family that anyone who came to rob him at home would have to kill him. Four young men did just that Tuesday before stealing his Nissan Versa.
Leacock, 42, was one of two members of the protective services murdered Tuesday. The second was Jason Cyril John who was a police officer for just seven months.
Speaking at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, Tuesday, Leacock’s two stepdaughters repeated his words, which one of his neighbours also recalled when reminiscing about him. Kerneil Henry said her stepfather, who was described as “more than a father and more than a husband”, also told them he would die protecting them from anyone who tried to rob his family.
“He was a very calm person, very outgoing, a very good husband. He always used to say don’t interfere with his family, ‘do me anything, kill me not my family’. He died a hero, he died defending us,” Henry said.
She recalled that around 5 a.m. her mother noticed a shadow passing and shouted before attempting to close the kitchen door of the family’s Demerara Heights, Wallerfield, home.
“It happened so fast. It was not any grown fellas, it was young men. When they came in, my mother was in the kitchen and she saw the shadow and tried to close the door, but they pulled it back open and when she screamed out my stepfather came out and they shot him in his chest,” Henry said.
She said that after Leacock was shot the four men asked for jewelry, cash and the keys to the family’s car. The bandits also made off with a jewelry box filled with costume jewelry. Henry’s older sister, Teneille James, said the truth that her stepfather is dead had not sunk in for her just yet, adding he was the anchor of the family.
Leacock’s neighbours described him as a “cool fella”.
“He was a nice man, I and all saying I don’t know why they want to kill the man, anything happened in the neighbourhood he would come out. Last time some rapist was prowling he came out and went looking for them. Parents need to talk to their children. I feeling sick right now,” one neighbour said.
Another neighbour said the community was being preyed on by people from another nearby community. He said it was sad to know Leacock was killed and his licensed firearm was in another room.
Hours before Leacock was killed, gunmen took the life of constable Jason John, who was last attached to the Court and Process Branch and stationed at the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court.
At the courthouse Tuesday afternoon, his colleagues said John spent his last day at work being his normal jovial self, adding he was always happy. The T&T Guardian was informed that the officers received counselling at the Court and Process Branch. Some officers were seen consoling each other. A senior police officer attached to the unit said John’s first deployment was at the courthouse after passing out last year. The officer added that John showed initiative and was eager to learn.
“Today [Wednesday] was a difficult day with a lot of tears, grief and anger,” the officer said.
In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian Tuesday, John’s father Cyril said his son was a very loving man. The senior John said he had not come to terms with the death of his “baby”, the last of his three children. He said that his son was the father of three children and he believed that his son was just asleep.
John was attacked and killed while on the way to his girlfriend’s home at William Trace, Five Rivers, Arouca, just after midnight. After he was shot, John was taken to the Arima Health Facility but died less than an hour later. The 29-year-old father of three lived at Bon Air Gardens, Arouca.