As the tents and chairs were being laid out for the wake of Charan Dev Singh on Thursday, neighbours believed he would be alive if police responded to their distress call in time.
Singh, 24, of San Francisco Settlement, Chickland, Freeport was shot in the chest around 8.50 pm on Wednesday at his neighbour’s home but later died while being treated at the Couva District Health Facility.
Police said Singh along with his father, retired police officer Mathura Singh, Mary Ann Edmund and her brother-in-law, Micahel Jeoffroy, were standing in front of Edmund’s parlour after he helped review some CCTV footage.
Two masked men brandishing guns approached the group, announced a hold-up and ordered them to lie on the ground. The older Singh who became afraid for his life drew his personal Sig Sauer nine millimetre and fired one shot, which police believed struck one of the bandits.
Several explosions were heard immediately after and the men escaped on foot along the roadway. Singh noticed his son suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest and gasping for breath, the police report said.
Edmund’s cousin Louisa Young said their call to the police was not taken seriously and if it was, Charan Dev Singh would not be dead.
She said, “A man who is a drug addict jumped the fence and was walking around the house naked. We called the police but they told us that they were on patrol in Waterloo and would come after.”
Young said they noticed a black Mazda 3 and a white van acting suspiciously in the area. The men ran through the open gate and then the incident unfolded.
She said, “My cousin is in shock and unable to speak with anyone. She has some medical complications and is taking this really hard. She is blaming herself for this child’s death.
“He is a good boy. We know him since his childhood. It is sad.”
Young said the crime situation is out of control and there were times the family thought of migrating.
She said, “We thought about leaving the country but we can’t. Anybody could come here and stay but we can’t do that there. You have to be forever looking over your shoulder because you are not free in the people (foreign) country."
When Newsday visited the Singh’s residence the family was unable to speak and other family members slowly trickled in.
In Edmund's yard, the blood pool in which Singh laid stained the ground in front of the parlour which has been in the community for over 30 years.
Singh worked as an information technology analyst with the Guardian Group.
Police recovered four spent 40 calibre casings, a black and white joggers pants, a multi-coloured boxers and a pair of blue Vapor Max slippers, while the deceased's black Apple I phone was missing.
Sgt Elvin, Cpl Bridgemohan and WPC Valdez of Homicide Region Three and PC Vialva are continuing investigations.