Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 10th 2015 Contents Church sign
JENSEN LA VENDE
A man was killed instantly yesterday after a
sign erected outside a church fell on him. He
was later identified as John "Amigo" Matthews,
54, of Sawmill Avenue, Barataria.
Eyewitnesses told police that around 12.45 pm,
as many parts of Trinidad experienced heavy
winds, the sign for The Gate Church, which had
been erected for over 20 years along the Eastern
Main Road, Barataria, cracked at the base and fell
on the man.
attended to by a
doctor who was
driving along the
EMR and saw what
Workers at the
nearby Cool Aire
and Judy's Pet Shop
told the media that
as the doctor began
an unmarked police
vehicle stopped and
workers of the two businesses used their umbrellas
to shelter the doctor and officers as they sought
to remove the sign off the man and help him.
While the crowd gathered, a marked police
vehicle was stopped and later escorted the man
to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex,
Mt Hope, where he died undergoing treatment.
Employees at Cool Aire said Mathews was called
"Amigo" as he spoke a bit of Spanish. The men
added that he was a "cool fella" who would do
odd jobs in the neighbourhood.
Employees at Judy's Pet Shop said Mathews
had moved into the area about two years ago.
"He living here about two years now. He would
hustle little fruits and sell and was what you will
call a go for,'" one of Judy's employees said.
A Cool Aire worker said he had been working
at the business place for 24 years and the sign
had been there since he had started. He added
that it was not the fault of anyone but a tragic
accident. The man said everyone knew Mathews
and when the incident happened there was an
outpouring of assistance .
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, October 10, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
JENSEN LA VENDE
A 43-year-old Barataria man
was killed by a grocery owner
yesterday evening, after he
attempted to rob the man s
business along the Eastern
Main Road, Barataria.
The alleged bandit was later
identified as Brian Simmons.
According to police reports,
around 4.30 pm, Simmons, of
Fifth Street, walked into the
Nick City Supermarket armed
with a semi-automatic pistol
and attempted to rob the cashier.
However, the Chinese owner of
the business, who was moni-
toring the grocery floor from
upstairs, saw what was taking
place. He took up his licensed
gun, went downstairs, confront-
ed Simmons and opened fire.
The startled bandit ran out
of the grocery, collapsed on the
roadway and died.
Head of the North Eastern
Division Task Force, Snr Supt
Radcliffe Boxhill, Supt Palloo,
other officers from the division
and members of the Homicide
Bureau responded to the scene.
Boxhill later thanked his col-
leagues and the CSI for pro-
cessing the scene within two
Speaking with reporters at the
scene yesterday, Simmons'
daughter, Sarafina Simmons,
said her father never told her he
was in desperate need of money.
She added, however, that he
always would complain that
people were owing him money.
Simmons said she was
unaware that her father was
involved in any criminality and
that yesterday's shooting was a
shock to her.
"He never tell me he needed
money. I don't know what hap-
pened, he was not that type of
person," Simmons said.
Police say a loaded 9 mm was
found near Simmons' body after
Passersby were heard saying
that Simmons "looked for that,"
adding that he should not have
gone after "fast money." Some
onlookers praised the business
owner and called on more busi-
nessmen to arm themselves to
protect their property, noting
bandits had been on a rampage
in recent months.
Yesterday's incident was the
opposite of what took place at
another Chinese grocery in
Curepe earlier this year. In that
incident it was the owner who
was killed while his attackers
managed to escape.
On April 7, Hi Hong Huang,
35, was fatally shot as he strug-
gled with two bandits during a
robbery outside his business,
Happiness Supermarket, along
the Southern Main Road. CCTV
footage revealed he was shot by
one of the men as he attempted
to wrestle with another to pre-
vent them from escaping with
a box containing approximately
$500,000. Four people, two men
and two women, have been held
for the robbery and murder and
are now before the courts.
Grocer confronts, kills bandit
Robbery caught on CCTV John "Amigo" Matthews
A police officer speaks to Sarafina Simmons, whose father Brian Simmons was shot dead while attempting to rob the Nick City
Supermarket, outside the Barataria business last night. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
In an unrelated incident, police are again seeking the public's
assistance to identify the body of a man found in El Socorro,
San Juan, yesterday.
According to police reports, around 6 am, Community-Based
Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme
(CEPEP) workers on duty along Dirty Trail, El Socorro, close to
the Caroni River, found the body.
Police said the man appeared to have been shot in the head
and chest. He was of East Indian descent and appeared to be
in his early 40s. His murder took the toll to 339 for the year.
CEPEP WORKERS FIND BODY
The fallen sign belonging to The Gate Church,
which killed John Matthews at Barataria
yesterday. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
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