Man gunned down in first homicide of the year

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By Samantha Simon
[email protected]

Members of the Syrian and DeSouza Road community were in shock yesterday after a 25-year-old man was gunned down at the Pick ‘n’ Mix Mart off lower All Saints Road shortly after lunchtime.

The victim had allegedly been in the adjacent Chicken Hub when a lone gunman entered his superette and threatened the on-duty cashier with a gun. He is said to have rushed into the mart, having heard the commotion, at which point the gunman turned his weapon and fired point-blank range.

The assailant proceeded to flee the scene after allegedly robbing the cashier of an undisclosed amount of money, at which point bystanders called 911 to report the incident.

The victim, of Syrian descent and named locally as Roudi Shmaly, was rushed to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at around 1:35 pm.

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The victim has been named locally as Roudi Shmaly

According to persons from the community, it’s the second time in recent years that gunshots were fired during a robbery at this location, though the previous incident was without a fatality.

The area surrounding the crime scene was swiftly filled with proprietors of multiple Syrian businesses in St John’s as well as residents of the area, mourning the loss of whom many considered a dear friend and kind individual.

As what felt like a cloud of grief descended over the growing crowd, police were forced to ask people and vehicles to move from nearby Robinson’s Gas Station to allow for the resumed movement of traffic.

Many were left aghast and concerned by the brazen daylight attack, with some saying they fear that the approaching return of a full Carnival season may act as a trigger for an upsurge in crime, as has been a perceived trend prior to the Covid pandemic.

Some disagreed, viewing this and other recent incidents as a byproduct of the apparent shortage of available and sustainable jobs in the face of the increased cost of living.

Meanwhile, the police are appealing to anyone with information surrounding this incident to contact the Criminal Investigations Department at 462-3913 or Crimestoppers at 800-Tips (8477).

“The police also wishes to reassure the public they will continue intensifying their crime-fighting measures to ensure the safety and security of all,” a statement added.

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