Chaguanas market vendor shot dead at stall

 - File photo
- File photo

Market vendor Mark Quashie, 32, spent his last moments cradled in his brother’s arms after he was shot on Saturday afternoon while selling at the Chaguanas market.

Quashie was at his fruit and vegetable stall at the market at around 3.15 pm when a man wearing a mask pushed his way through the crowd, shoved a gun between several customers, and shot him in the chest.

Quashie and the gunman then scuffled before Quashie ran to the back of the market, along Eleanor Street, Chaguanas.

He ran into a nearby casino which had armed security and collapsed, while the gunman ran off and escaped.

Quashie’s brother was nearby and heard the commotion, and onlookers told him what had happened. They directed him to the casino, where he found his brother lying on the ground bleeding from his chest. Quashie’s brother held him in his arms as they waited for the ambulance to arrive. Quashie was eventually taken to the Chaguanas District Health Facility but was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived.

Speaking with the media at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, one of Quashie’s relatives said the family believed his death stemmed from a previous altercation he had with another man over a woman.

The relative, who wanted to remain anonymous, didn’t want to say more on the issue but added this was not the first time Quashie had been the victim of violence as a result of that dispute.

“This was a targeted shooting. He was threatened before, and he get attack before, and he reported it.”

The relative said Quashie was a well-known, long-standing vendor at the market with whom customers loved to interact.

“If you come and can’t get something by him, he will send you by somebody else in the market who have what you looking for.”

Quashie was described as a “hustler who specialized in mangoes.” “He knows how to make money the right way.

He supplies roti shops, doubles men, and bake and shark vendors with mango for their chutney and their mango sauce.”

The relative said Quashie was always focused on doing good and positive things.

“He not in any crime or any bad-boy thing. Everybody hurting because he never give trouble. He never thief and never rob anybody.”

The relative said Quashie spent time trying to assist young people in the neighborhood.

“He used to employ boys in the area and give them a day’s work to help him pick the mangoes. He used to teach people the market trade too.”

Quashie was also a recognized member of the stickfighting fraternity. He placed third at the 2023 National Stick Fighting Finals in Skinner Park, San Fernando.

The relative said stickfighting and traditional mere was part of Quashie’s heritage.

“It was in his blood. Our family has a history of traditional mas because his father used to play also. That’s the family background.”

The relative added crime is out of control and expressed little hope that anything would change soon. “The police and the government can’t control crime. Yes, it has good and bad police, but that (attitude) has to come from the head and whoever in charge first.

“If a boss has a company and he wutless, then the company will be wutless. You can’t expect any different. It starts with the head (having the right attitude).”


"Chaguanas market vendor shot dead at stall"

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