(Trinidad Guardian) The tainted love between two police officers turned tragic in Mt D’Or, Champs Fleurs, yesterday, after SRP Michael Youksee turned his service weapon on WPC Rackel Kipps, the mother of his two-year-old daughter, killing her before using the gun to also end his own life.
The murder/suicide, coupled with a double murder in Arima, raised the murder toll for the year to 459 for Trinidad & Tobago.
Neighbours said at around 10.30 am an argument erupted at Youksee’s Spring Valley extension apartment.
Police were told it appeared that Youksee had confronted Kipps and challenged her to be truthful, stating that he had given her everything. Youksee’s teenage daughter reportedly tried to intervene in the matter but was shoved out of the room.
Less than 20 minutes later, gunshots shattered the air. Residents said they heard three in total—two initially and then after a pause, a final shot. The sound of a baby crying then prompted the couple’s relatives to enter the home, where they found the two officers in the room bleeding. They called police to the scene upon making the grim discovery.
When officers arrived Kipps was no longer breathing, while Youksee still had a pulse. Officers took him to the nearby Eric Williams Medical Science Complex, Mt Hope, where he died shortly after 1 pm.
District Medical Officer Victor Terapalli visited the scene and pronounced Kipps dead.
Kipps was attached to the Northern Division Senior Superintendent’s office while Youksee was stationed in Tunapuna.
Neighbours expressed shock over the incident as Youksee, also known to them as Kevin and “Uncle” to the children in the community, was said to be extremely affable and pleasant around the neighbourhood.
They added that the violence was not something they saw coming since Youksee took good care of his daughters, especially the two-year-old daughter, at his home.
Youksee also featured prominently on Kipps’ Facebook page, with several pictures of them together as well as their daughter on the timeline.
However, the relationship between the officers, who had plans to get married next month, reportedly turned sour in recent weeks. Kipps reportedly moved out of the home with the couple’s two-year-old daughter last month. The T&T Guardian was also told that a complaint had been filed against Youksee by Kipps recently. Despite this, Kipps yesterday took the child to see her father, at her daughter’s request, neighbours said. It was said that during the argument the matter of them living together was raised once again.
Contacted yesterday, Police Social and Welfare Association president, Inspector Michael Seales, sent out condolences to the families of both officers but said it was too soon to comment on the situation as there were still many facts to be uncovered concerning the incident.
The incident once again brought into focus the need for support services for officers. In September, Seales had pointed out that the Employee Assistance Programme was not functional after the death of Officer Ian Hamilton.
Hamilton reportedly ended his life in September, mere hours after performing at a function. Hamilton reportedly had been deeply depressed following the death of his fiancee Natasha Edmund in 2017.
Seales had said then that not enough had been put in place to assist officers who were dealing with emotional trauma, noting that while there were over 200 trained peer counsellors within the service, many officers were unaware who they were and as such were unable to approach them.
In a statement yesterday, the TTPS said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of WPC Kipps and PC Youksee.
This was also the second time this year in Trinidad that a domestic incident had led to officers using their service weapons to kill. In early May, Sgt Darryl Honore died at the hospital after a shoot-out with a fellow officer and friend at Grand Bazaar, Valsayn.
When the shooting occurred, the breakdown of Honore’s marriage was believed to have factored in the incident.