Friday 6 December, 2019

Family of slain tattoo artist pleads for witnesses to come forward

The family of Shaquille Toppin, Barbados’ first murder victim for 2019, is appealing for anyone with information to share it with police.  

It is now three months since the 24-year-old tattoo artist was shot 16 times just outside his Retreat Terrace home in Black Rock leaving behind relatives, friends and clients to mourn his untimely death.  

Loop News spoke with Zonel Forde, Toppin’s older sister, who said the wound is still fresh, especially for his mother, Pollinea Gibson-Toppin.  

Forde said her mother has expressed feelings of loneliness since her son’s passing, considering the two were extremely close. She revealed her mother has nightmares of the shooting and oftentimes can be heard crying.  

Her mother has even said she will never forget the sounds of the gunshots and the fact that every bullet pierced her son’s body.  

“She really needs the closure. For her the biggest question is why, why did this happen and who is the person that did it.” 

Forde said she believes there are persons who may know who carried out the shooting but due to fear they are remaining silent.   

“To say that he is a good person is not enough. People need to come forward and say what they know. We need the community to help bring this to a close.”  

Forde admitted it has been painful to see families, whose relatives have also been murdered, make strides towards receiving justice.  

“It is not an easy thing to wait on a phone call saying that someone has been charged. We want it to be us."

She said she has taken comfort in the fact that police check in regularly with the family to assure them that Toppin's death is still an active and open investigation.  

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: