Police shot and killed a 30-year-old alleged "robbery suspect" who turned out to be the business owner at Palo Seco on Thursday night.
Dead is Larry Simon, owner of Salaams Distributors at SS Erin Road, near No 9 Road.
Residents said at around 11.45 pm on Thursday, they heard gunshots and saw police chasing Simon.
Moments earlier, three men dressed in plain clothes got out of a marked police van and confronted Simon at the galvanised building where he and his girlfriend lived. For the past five months, the couple had been selling appliances.
Residents said they had heard the officers did not "properly identify" themselves, causing Simon to think the three men were bandits.
"If they did not properly identify themselves, I too would have run off to distract them from attacking my wife. Larry ran off, passed to the back of Chandra’s Roti Shop and was shot near that (utility) post," said a resident, who asked to remain unnamed. "One of the officers is from around here, so he knows the people community, and we know him too."
Simon was hit in the head and collapsed about 300 feet away from his business on the roadside.
Another resident said Simon, originally from the Erin district, returned to live in the area earlier this year after living in north Trinidad.
"We do not know much about his girlfriend, because she is not from the area. But she sells with him.
"Larry ran, thinking the officers were bandits. Maybe he wanted to distract them," she said. "There are bad police and there are good police. In this situation, Larry was innocent."
Police took Simon to the Siparia District Health Facility, where he died.
Newsday learnt that the police were responding to a report of a robbery in process at the business.
On Friday, his mother Lana Simon was expected to identify the body at the Forensic Sciences Centre in St James. The body is expected to be tested for covid19, and once the result is negative, an autopsy will follow.
South Western Division police are investigating.