Mother of slain 24-year-old tattoo artist Shaquille Toppin today lavished praise on members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) for the headway made in her son’s murder.
Pollinea Gibson-Toppin lamented that while some people were quick to paint cops in a negative light, she was thankful to them for their investigation into her son’s case.
Gibson-Toppin told Barbados TODAY that regardless of how many times she called the Black Rock Police Station inquiring about whether police had made any progress in investigating the case, they never made her feel as though she was bothering them. “They always took time out to talk to me,” she said.
“It was very tiring but they never gave up. I commend them for what they did and I thank them very much. And the same way I was calling them asking them what going on with the case, I called them and thanked them for not giving up. So they know that I am grateful that they were always there comforting me and that was helpful to me.
“They promised me that they would get to the bottom of it. I myself sometimes had a bit of doubt but they always promised me that they would get it sorted out. My son was a very good boy. I have to thank God too because I looked to God and he told me he is going to do it for me and he did come true. I prayed for myself and I prayed for the police too,” she said.
Shaquille, a resident of Retreat Terrace, Black Rock, St Michael, was gunned down just a stone’s throw away from his home, on January 8, 2019. His was the first of 49 murders for last year. Two persons have since been charged in connection with the incident.
His family, particularly his grieving mother, made several appeals for members of the public with any information regarding her son’s death to share it with police.
Gibson-Toppin said “I have mixed emotions. I feel a bit relieved but still not really happy because I do not have my son and I am not happy with the wicked way he was killed. But I am trying to cope the best I can and I am just trusting in God to reveal everything that was a part of my son’s death, and everybody that was a part of it as well. So I am just looking forward to the trial date right now.” Gibson-Toppin said.
The mother said her only regret was that the breakthrough came after Shaquille’s father died last month from what she described as a “broken heart”.
Tony Toppin died on January 4 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) sometime after doctors told him they could not fix his heart problem. He would have turned 52 on January 10.
“He was pining behind that incident and he had a heart problem that developed. It was not easy for him. It was unfortunate he died before and didn’t find out but I can’t say why, only God knows why. He was very heartbroken but things happen for a reason.”
The mother noted that she was now praying for strength and courage to forgive those responsible for taking her son’s life, and that they “will find peace one day in knowing God”.
“I am angry at them but I don’t hate them. I just feel sorry for them to see that they could be so wicked. I pray that God change their lives and that they reach out to God and know that he can do all things and he can make them into better people too,” she said. [email protected]