The morning of Sunday, July 9, started off like any other Sunday morning in the Wickham household at Ann’s Grove on the East Coast of Demerara.
When Prison Officer and beloved son, Odinga Wickham, left for his job at the Camp Street jailhouse ear;y on Sunday morning, his mother and other family members never thought it would have been their final goodbye.
Wickham may have been getting ready to end his Sunday shift when gunshots got his attention in the jailhouse. As he rushed in to assist other officers under attack, he was shot multiple times to the chest, as five prisoners bolted from the facility, while others set fire to the wooden buildings that made up the prison.
The 33-year-old Prison Officer was rushed to the Georgetown Hospital where he passed while undergoing emergency treatment.
His mother, Annette Wickham spoke to News Source today and said she is still in disbelief and wants to see her son’s body before she accepts the reality.
Ms. Wickham said she learnt of her son’s death just after 8 o’ clock on Sunday night. With a heavy security presence at the hospital, she was prevented from seeing his body.
She recalled that her son attended the Golden Grove Secondary School, before moving on to a career in the prison service.
His mother said he loved his family, especially his 3-year-old daughter, who he adored.
“He was a hard working, loving, friendly, persons take him for a ride because he just like to know he can help. He was a family man,” the grieving mother said.
She recalled that he loved his job and was very committed to it.
In the aftermath of the 2016 tragedy at the same Camp Street jail that left 16 prisoners dead after they set fire to the prison, it was Wickham who was instrumental in guiding the lawyer who represented the Joint Services during the Commission of Inquiry hearings.
His mother said he never discussed his job at home., but she always encouraged him to be safe.
She is hoping to find justice for her son.