Brother died because he stood up to gunmen – Godwin
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September 5, 2014

Brother died because he stood up to gunmen – Godwin

Godwin Richards believes that it was his brother’s decision to stand up for what is right that got him killed last Sunday night.

The older brother of 56-year-old hospital attendant Grafton Richards said that Grafton intervened in the assault of one of the patrons at his shop in Glen, moments before two gunmen opened fire, killing Grafton, {{more}} as well as Ricardo Haynes, and injuring three others, including Grafton’s son Michael, Kevorn Baptiste and Charles Baptiste.

Godwin told SEARCHLIGHT that he had been at the shop playing dominoes with his brother and others, but had left the scene about three minutes before the shooting took place, leaving about a dozen patrons there.

He said that he heard the shots ring out, but was not aware of where they were coming from. It was not until the next day that he was told about what transpired.

“What I understand is that they were playing still and they see two guys coming down the road close to the wall; they had gun in they hand and hoodie over they face. One of the gunman hold a guy and start to slap him up.   

“My brother does run the place and he was leaning on his vehicle and he came and say ‘you can’t do that here man, take it in the road,’ and from the time he say that is nothing more than bullets,” Godwin related.

“My brother is a no-nonsense guy; he wasn’t involved in nothing, so from the time he talk they just open lead on him,” Godwin added.

Grafton died in the living room of the house adjoining the shop.

Godwin added that what made the situation more upsetting and sad was that Grafton was scheduled to head off for night shift duties at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, hours after he was killed.

“He was to go in at midnight, but he was just killing time.”

Also speaking to SEARCHLIGHT was Grafton’s daughter Ruthlyn Abbott, who related that she had spoken to her father and made plans with the deceased hours before he was slain.

“He was in jovial spirits.

“At the time he was playing dominoes with his brother and two friends and I told him I wanted to see the doctor, and he told me to go home and get ready to come back for 11, because he is going in to work at midnight, and I said OK, and spent a little time hugging him while my daughter rubbed his head and then we left for home with the intention to come back for 11.

“But I fell asleep and two hours later I was awakened by my mother, who told me that my father was gunned down,” Abbott said. 

Abbott said when she first got the news, she did not believe, but when she went to the crime scene her fears were confirmed, and she found out that her brother Michael was also shot multiple times by the assailants.

“I left and went to the hospital to see my brother to make sure I was not going to lose both of them. He was in pain, but was not in any life-threatening situation.

“He got one in his back and one in his right and one in his left arm.”

Abbott said that she was very close to her father, who also has a daughter residing in St Maarten.

The heartbroken women made a plea for an end to the gun violence.

“They need to stop it because others are being hurt innocently in the process, while they are doing these criminal activities.”

The community of Glen and surrounding areas has been a hotbed for gun related activity for the past months, with as many as five shooting deaths in the area and just as many injured. (JJ)