Cop fingered in counsellor’s murder surrenders

The police corporal implicated in Thursday’s murder of peacemaker Ralph Turpin turned himself in at the Leonora Police Station yesterday afternoon, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said.

Persaud told Stabroek News that the rank, who is attached to ‘D’ Division (West Demerara), as a suspect in the fatal shooting of Turpin at a Stabroek Market food stall.

He added that a senior police officer and his wife, who were at the location when the incident occurred, are still assisting with the investigations.

He noted that they both have to be further questioned about the incident.
This newspaper has been reliably informed that the rank is the senior police officer’s driver. The rank, according to reports, is the owner of the CRV vehicle that he fled the scene in.

The licence plate of the vehicle had been handed over the police, who traced its owner. Police are said to be looking for at least one other person to assist with the investigation.

A post mortem examination performed on Turpin’s body yesterday determined that he died as a result of shock and haemorrhage due to a single gunshot wound to the head.

Turpin, 54, was the co founder of the Infinity Rehabilitation Centre, which is a halfway house for substance abusers. He opened the doors to the Centre, which was located at his home, last November.

Police said that Turpin, of Agriculture Road, Triumph, East Coast Demerara, was shot to the head on Thursday morning around 3:30am at Cornhill Street, Stabroek. He was later pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Hospital.

Ralph Turpin

According to police, a senior police officer and his wife went to purchase food at the Stabroek Market and there was an altercation involving females near the food stall.

It is alleged that during that altercation, a man chucked one of the females and the deceased went to make peace, during which he was allegedly shot to his head by the man who also placed a gun to the head of one of the females.

Stabroek News had been told that Turpin and three other persons, including two women, had gone to buy food at the market when one of the women in the group told a man who was already there to hurry and make his purchase. This apparently angered the man, who pushed the woman down.

Reports are that the man was part of a birthday celebration and may have been intoxicated.
The man and several others had just left a popular city night spot.

At some point, Turpin intervened and the man pulled out a gun and shot the counsellor in the head.

He later pointed his weapon at Karen Busbey-Girard, who was one of the women with Turpin, and pulled the trigger but no bullet came out. The shooter along with the other persons he was with then fled the scene.

Turpin has been affiliated with the substance abuse recovery programme as he himself had been a drug and alcohol abuser.

He had been clean for 18 years when he was killed. Stabroek News was told that the halfway house was for young men who were substance abusers.

It was explained that it was because he was himself a victim, Turpin decided to start the programme so that he could give back to men who were on that same road he had travelled many years ago.

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