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Bar owner fatally shot during robbery
Sangre Grande recorded its first murder for the year on Saturday night when bar owner Ashram Persad was shot during a robbery at his business place.
The 49-year-old father of three died at the Sangre Grande Hospital shortly after he was attacked by two gunmen, their faces covered by bandanas, who held up Dogie’s Bar on the Manzanilla Road. The robbers escaped with an undisclosed sum of cash.
Police said two employees and a patron were at the bar with Persad at around 7.45 pm when the armed men entered the building. They locked one of the employees in the stockroom and forced the other to lie face down on the floor. The lone patron was chased out of the bar.
Persad, who was behind the bar selecting music, did not see what was taking place right away. When he looked up, one of the gunmen shot him twice in the abdomen. When he fell to the ground, the gunmen took his brief case which contained an undisclosed sum of money and emptied the cash register. They fired shots in the air as they ran out of the bar into a side street before escaping in a waiting vehicle.
Persad was still alive and was calling for his son when police arrived on the scene. PCs Robert Joshua and Buchoon of the Manzanilla Police Post took him to hospital in their police vehicle.
At the victim’s home where tents were being erected yesterday, relatives, neighbours and friends gathered to offer condolences.
Persad’s brother, Guyan, complained about the treatment given to his critically injured brother at the hospital. He said there were no attendants on duty and the policemen who transported him to the accident and emergency department had to assist in lifting and turning him so he could be attended to by a doctor.
Persad’s widow, overcome with grief, could only say: “He was a great father and husband.”
His older daughter Alexia, 19, who will be entering university later this year, said her father was a role model to his children.
“He was most happy when I got the most awards at North Eastern College graduation,” she said.
His younger daughter, Celina is in Sixth Form and son Rainer is in Form Two.
Police said footage from CCTV camera is being reviewed. Visiting the murder scene were ASP Joseph, Insp. Lutchman, Sgt Christopher Fuentes of Homicide Bureau Region 11, Arouca and PCs Roberts Buchoon and others. Sgt Fuentes is continuing investigation.
A post mortem will be done at the Forensic Science Centre in St James today.
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