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Bandits grab payroll at Debe mall

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.

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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