Despite reports which indicated that 24-year-old Jahmal Alexis was shot and killed by the owner during an attempted robbery on Thursday night at Young’s grocery in Barataria, Alexis’ father Peter Alexis insists his son was simply caught in the crossfire.
Newsday spoke with relatives at the Forensic Science Centre, St James yesterday where they said reports that Alexis was involved in the robbery attempt and was a criminal were untrue and deeply painful.
They explained that Alexis’ common-law-wife recently gave birth to their first child. They also said Alexis was permanently employed as a merchandiser at a popular local retailer and did not have a criminal record.
Peter said he learned of his son’s death while at work on Thursday night and is calling for answers as reports surrounding the incident are conflicting.
“Anyone who knew him would tell you that he has never been involved in any kind of criminal lifestyle. He’s a working fella. He was a merchandiser, he would stock the shelves and operate the forklift in the stockroom, he’s been working since he left school. I know the owner of the supermarket personally because I’ve lived in that area for a while.”
According to sources, Alexis was shot seven times while inside the grocery.
The businessman, Saiyoung Chang, 67, drew his licensed firearm and began shooting at three bandits prompting them to return fire.
Chang managed to dodge the bullets but his son Paiping Chang, 33, and stepson Adonis Singh, 27, were both shot in the exchange.
Yesterday, they were resting comfortably at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.
Earlier last week, China’s Ambassador to TT, Song Yumin said he was not particularly alarmed by reports of criminal attacks on the local Chinese community.
“From what I understand with my correspondence with the local police, there is no trend to indicate that the Chinese are being singled out or targeted any more than any other group in Trinidad,” Ambassador Yumin said.