By Kadeem Joseph
Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney is appealing to residents who may have any information surrounding the brutal murder of Customs inspector Nigel Christian to come forward, as investigators pursue “several theories”.
The top cop rebuked last Friday’s kidnapping and shooting death as not only an attack on the Customs & Excise Division but an “attack on law enforcement” too.
While there has been widespread speculation that the incident is connected with Christian’s job, Rodney said the lawmen simply do not know at this time.
“We don’t know, and that is why we are exploring everything,” he said. “Is it something that happened inside of work, is it something outside of work — we don’t know and that is why I am saying any information we get, we treasure that because we are pursuing all different theories.”
The commissioner said the police are also investigating an accident involving the deceased, which had occurred earlier on the day of his death.
He explained that the investigators have been “working well” and have been in the field and conducting interviews since the incident, but once again underscored the need for the public’s support in getting a breakthrough in the case.
“If we get more information, we have more to work with, and we can explore more help that we might need,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt whatever information a person has, how insignificant it might be.”
Commissioner Rodney said last Friday’s incident underscores the need for public support in investigations of this nature and he believes that Antiguans and Barbudans “will rise this time”.
He said no parent should have to suffer the pain that Christian’s family is experiencing.
Meanwhile, Rodney said the investigation into last year’s shooting of another Customs officer, Cornell Benjamin, is still “active” but there is not yet enough information to charge someone or take the matter to court.
While he indicated that there is not enough evidence to link both incidents involving Customs employees, he said he is convinced that there are individuals in society who have credible information that would lead to an arrest in Benjamin’s case.
Benjamin was shot in both legs last October and has been abroad receiving medical care.
“I think this incident with Mr Christian should be another wake-up call to us as residents and citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, that we cannot encourage, we cannot condone those types of behaviour and I think it is time we stand up and say enough is enough,” Rodney said. He reminded residents that there are several ways to submit information to the police anonymously, including sending letters and notes to them, calling anonymously, or conveying the information to another person that they trust and who can convey the tips to the police. He also assured the public that the information will be handled confidentially.