Venezuelan feud ends in murder in Princes Town

Venezuelan Roger Lopez, 26., shot dead in Princes Town.  -
Venezuelan Roger Lopez, 26., shot dead in Princes Town. -

A feud which is believed to have started in neighbouring Venezuela some time ago ended in murder in Princes Town on Saturday when a Venezuelan was murdered by Spanish-speaking men.

Roger Lopez, 26, a Venezuelan who had been living at Petit Café with his wife and three children, was attacked by four men while buying food at a Chinese restaurant at St Julien’s, Princes Town.

A video of the attack showed four men entering the restaurant from a back entrance and attacking Lopez. Lopez fought back, but one of the four men, dressed in a red T-shirt, pulled out a sawn-off shotgun from a backpack he was carrying and shot him.

The video showed Lopez trying to sit up, but collapsing on the ground as the assailants fled.

One of his colleagues, who spoke to the Newsday on the basis of anonymity, said Lopez was his friend.

“He died right before my eyes,” the man said.

“He was a good man, he worked hard to take care of his wife and three children. The oldest is 10. He was always doing something to ensure they were provided for and now they are without a father.

“I hope that the Government or somebody can help his family. I feel so sorry for them.”

His colleague said they took a break from work on a nearby construction site and went to get lunch. He said remained in the vehicle while Lopez went in to order food.

He said Lopez sat at a table and was awaiting his order when the men burst in and attacked him.

“I did not know what was going on. Everything happened so quickly. I was in the van when I heard two loud sounds like gunshots and then I saw people running saying someone was shot.

“I did not know it was my friend. I rushed inside to see him lying on the ground. I called the police and ambulance, but he died right there in front of me.

“I don’t know why he was killed.”

He said his assailants were also Venezuelans.

“I am hearing that they may have had some dispute in Venezuela and now they are all living in Trinidad they wanted to settle the score.

“I did not know my friend to be involved in anything illegal.”

Police responded to the report that around 1.10 pm on Saturday a man was shot at Kong Fung Chinese Restaurant and bar.

First responders, including acting Cpl Ramnanan, PC Balliran, acting Insp Mohammed, Sgt Nanan, Sgt Barran and officers from the Princes Town CID, responded within three minutes.

They found Lopez, who was wearing green short pants, a yellow jersey and white socks, in a pool of blood on the eastern side of the building. Two caps and a pair of slippers were found scattered near his body.

Homicide and CSI officers also visited and searched for clues. A district medical officer declared Lopez dead. His body was taken to the mortuary of the San Fernando General Hospital pending an autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.

No arrests have been made as police continue their investigations.


"Venezuelan feud ends in murder in Princes Town"

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