Latest killing shatters peace efforts in Redemption Sharpes
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April 23, 2010
Latest killing shatters peace efforts in Redemption Sharpes

The on again-off again peace and quiet of the community of Redemption Sharpes may be off once again, following the shooting death of resident Randolph Johnson.{{more}}

The Redemption Sharpes playing field on Sunday night became a killing field shortly after 8 pm, when Johnson, also known as ‘Copper’, was shot three times in the head.

Villagers report seeing the deceased exiting a passenger van and crossing the playing field to go to a shop above the ball ground.

When returning from making his purchase, Johnson was shot.

The 45-year-old was said, by persons who knew him, to be getting his life back in order after years of a checkered lifestyle, which included a stint in the local prison.

In October 2008, Johnson had made a visit to SEARCHLIGHT appealing for young people to keep out of trouble and away from jail.

At the time, he had recently been released from Her Majesty’s Prisons, following a two-and-a-half-year sentence on a gun possession charge.

One person close to Johnson, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the murdered man was not known to have issues with anyone, and although he was argumentative, he was not a troublemaker.

“Most of the time he and people used to get in arguments, but fights and dem things, you never hear his name call up in that…. He will just have an argument and in two or three days you see he and the same guys back together talking.”

The family friend indicated that Johnson had migrated to Barbados in the late 70s but had returned home about ten years ago.

He is said to have two sisters, one brother and four children, including one daughter residing in St. Vincent referred to as ‘Empress’.

The individual close to Johnson said that although the man was not known for causing trouble, they do not believe that his killing was a case of mistaken identity, as is being purported by some in the community.

“I don’t know why they kill him. I don’t know if he have something for somebody; that may be a reason why they kill him.”

Described as an avid football fan, Johnson was said to be in good spirits in the days and weeks leading up to his killing, leaving no indication that his life would come to such an end. His murder adds to the list of shootings and gun related deaths that have plagued the Redemption Sharpes community over the last few years.

The series of gun related crimes had led to heavy police presence in the area, which had eased following an appearance of peace and calm returning to the community.

Police are investigating.