An armed security guard was shot dead and a supermarket employee was wounded by armed bandits during a robbery at Anand’s Mall at South Haven, Debe, yesterday.
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Kenwin Williams, 37, of Freeport, died within minutes after being shot in a planned ambush. Alloy Rodriguez, a supervisor at Anand Low Price Supermarket, was meanwhile shot several times in the leg during the attack and was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital by responding police officers. Rodriguez, of Fyzabad, was reported to be in a serious but stable condition last night.
A report stated that around 3.20 pm, Williams, an employee of Trinidad & Tobago Security Services Ltd, parked the company’s silver Toyota Hilux pickup just outside the mall entrance. Williams, who was carrying two firearms, had just taken up a point position at the door as his colleague walked into the mall with bags of cash. The cash was supposed to be used to pay employees.
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However, it was reported that three gunmen ambushed the men and opened fire on Williams before he could withdraw his firearm. The gunmen then shot Rodriguez and stole the bags of cash. The bandits then ran to a gold Nissan Almera that was parked outside and escaped. The bandits abandoned the car along Boodoo Trace, Debe, and left with the loot.
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Customers and employees of the mall and Anand’s Low Price Supermarket quickly ran out of the building in panic.
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Southern Division police, including Insp Steve Persad, Sgt Dale Ramroop and a team from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, Region Three, led by Insp Darryl Corrie, responded to the scene. Searches were made as far as San Francique and Penal but up to nightfall, the suspects had not been held.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, mall owner Anand Ramnarinesingh said additional security measures will be put in place on the compound to ensure customers and workers’ safety. He said the compound was already equipped with over 100 cameras and has security guards. He said while it was usually safe, the incident was unexpected and out of their control.
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Ramnarinesingh said the company will be reaching out to the family of Williams and Rodriguez, who has been an employee for the past 20 years.Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra Linkedin
“My heart goes out to the family of both parties, especially the officer who died on his job. We will be reaching out to his family to see how we can assist them within the next day or so. This whole thing is so unexpected that I can’t even find the words to tell them or comfort them.”
He said the staff, who hosted a Grand Divali Celebration at the compound on Sunday, was traumatised by the incident and will now have to receive counselling.Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra Youtube
Ramnarinesingh said Rodriguez was bringing the money to the mall and was being accompanied by Williams. He said Rodriguez was in the supermarket with the money while Williams was walking into the mall on his way to the washroom area. His back was turned when three gunmen ran out the car and shot Williams in his head. They then went into the supermarket where they shot Rodriguez in both legs and stole the money.Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra Behance