A MAN whom police have described as a contract killer walked into a supermarket in Princes Town yesterday and shot the owner dead. The killer, who is wanted for several other murders, is said to be from Tarodale in San Fernando.
Up until press time, police said they still had no motive for the murder of Chao Zhia Zhong, 24, who operated Karvill Supermarket along Manahambre Road for the past three years. Police confirmed that Zhong was robbed nine times.
According to reports, at about 12.12 pm, the killer, wearing a black hoodie and a pair of blue jeans, walked into the supermarket picked up a pack of juice and went to the cashier's counter. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage from the murder was sent to Newsday by a source.
After handing his money over to the cashier, the man is seen walking to the other end of the counter. He then steps away, turns and pulls out a gun. He then shoots Zhong in the neck. As the businessman falls to the ground, the killer shoots him at point blank range in the face.
He then ran out of the supermarket and got into a car parked nearby, which sped off. Zhong was taken to the nearby Princes Town Health Facility where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police said Zhong’s relatives who live elsewhere in Trinidad, were notified of his killing, but up until 4 pm, they had not arrived at the scene.
As word of his murder spread in the quiet community, neighbours and customers came out of their homes and assembled opposite the victim's business place. One man told Newsday, “He was a real nice person, he would always crack jokes and if you was a dollar short for something, he would sell it to you anyway.”
Zhong's neighbour said, “he used to give all them 'sprangers' (drug addicts) a lil work here and there and he never treated them bad like how some other businesspeople does do.” The woman said even if the supermarket reopens under new management, she would not return to shop there, out of respect for Zhong.
Another Chinese businessman, who runs a restaurant in the Manahambre area, told Newsday he is fed up of being targeted by criminals. Although he did not know Zhong, the man said he felt compelled to find out what had happened.
“I fed up of the Chinese community being harassed. I don’t understand why Trinis hate Chinese so much. They always rob us, beat us, kill us,” the restaurant owner said. “If they not robbing us, they curse us when they come to buy. I feel like I could pack up everything and go back to China.”
The businessman said he has been living in Trinidad since 1999 and has three Trinidadian-born children. Princes Town Homicide is continuing investigations.