Chinese grocer shot dead in San Juan

Golden City Supermarket in San Juan where grocer Bing Zang Zhu was shot dead on Good Friday. Photo by Roger Jacob
Golden City Supermarket in San Juan where grocer Bing Zang Zhu was shot dead on Good Friday. Photo by Roger Jacob

A CHINESE grocer who once shot an killed an armed bandit during a robbery was gunned down at his San Juan business on Good Friday.

Police said Bing Zang Zhu, a licenced firearm holder, was killed by three men who sneaked into the property and waited on him to return after he dropped off workers.

Investigators said Zhu had shot and killed the bandit in an attempted robbery at his business sometime between 2019-2020 but could not give the exact date of the incident.

On Friday, around 10.20 pm, Zhu was killed moments after he exited his van parked at the supermarket's compound. His wife found him bleeding on the ground of the Golden City Supermarket. His gun was found near his body.

Police have not ruled out robbery as the motive for the killing. Neither could investigators say if Zhu’s murder was linked to the previous incident where he shot and killed an armed bandit.

Zhu’s was one of three men killed within 24 hours pushing the murder toll to 155.

For the same period in 2022, 136 people had been murdered.

Police responding the Zhu's murder intercepted three men near the San Juan river. They shot and killed one of suspect and detained two others. The identity of the dead man was not released.

Police said the gunmen attacked Zhu, the owner of the supermarket, after he closed the business.

In CCTV footage shared on social media showed the men slipped through the partially opened gate. The footage showed Zhu as he returned in his van and was seen walking to the business. Less than two seconds after he exited the frame, three masked men were seen fleeing as they scaled the steel gates to a waiting car.

It appeared Zhu had moments earlier retrieved what appeared to be a white envelope from his van before he was shot. He was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope where he died.

Head of the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Snr Supt Rishi Singh said ballistics tests on the spent shells retrieved from the scene would determine if Zhu was able to shoot at his attackers.

At the scene on Saturday, one neighbour said Zhu usually left his gate slightly open, when he leaves to drop his workers off at night.

“That was his mistake especially after he shot and killed a bandit some years ago. The area have all kind of characters and these men study and target us businessmen like a book, waiting for opportunity.”

The man said while the situation is unfortunate, business owners must be wary of the escalating crime situation and must be cautions, even if they are armed with a licensed gun.

Former president of the San Juan Business Association Jason Roach said business owners feel as though they are sitting ducks because they cannot afford armed security 24/7.

He said in a WhatsApp message criminals continue to show blatant disregard for life, the law and the law of God in this spiritual period.

“Questions must be asked; how many more times we have to lobby for more police visibility on our streets? How long before we see the trajectory of crime detection increase? When will the Director of Public Prosecutions office get an adequate level of staffing to bring efficiency and swift justice to the judicial system?”

Though Roach commended the officers for their swift action, he said people shouldn’t glorify that the bandit succumbed to his injuries. He said more must be done to prevent instances like these.

“The business community has been vigorously lobbying for a means to protect ourselves and highly valued life of customers. Our cries continue to fall on deaf ears. We are almost out of hope and as the new police commissioner comes out of her honeymoon period, our pint of hope, faith and prayers are not keeping the criminals away.”

Roach reiterated that business owners need more action and police visibility in communities. He said businesses also need the mechanisms for defence against innocent bloodshed and violent crimes.

–with reporting by Vishanna Phagoo


"Chinese grocer shot dead in San Juan"

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