A CHINESE national was murdered in cold blood on Saturday night after he was shot once to the face by an armed bandit during a robbery at his workplace.
The killing of Chang Xiaofeng has left those who frequented the Golden Girl Chinese Restaurant located along the Eastern Main Road, Barataria, in a state of shock.
"This is madness. This is just total madness," said a group of Barataria residents who gathered outside the establishment yesterday evening as they spoke of Chang's death.
Chang, 33, was shot dead shortly after 9 p.m., as he was about to close the doors to the businessplace when a lone gunman entered and announced a hold-up, police said. His killing has carried the country's murder figure for the year so far to 313 according to an Express tally.
"He did not want to hand over the money, so he and the bandit began to struggle and he was shot once to the jaw. It was only after they shot him that another employee handed over the money," said police sources.
After the shooting, police said the gunman ran out of the businessplace and escaped with the undisclosed sum of cash.
The Express was told that Chang's family resided at Seventh Street, Barataria, but was unsuccessful in locating them up to late yesterday evening. However, residents who lived close to his place of employment spoke highly of him. They said Chang had been employed at the restaurant for several years, during which time he became somewhat a member of the community.
"He was a favourite with everyone around here. A really good person. Sometimes I might go into the restaurant to buy something and I would have a little short change but that would not be a problem. He would say 'what wrong with you? So what if you have a little less money'," said one man who did not want to be identified.
Chang, they said, was always generous with customers, especially children. "He would always treat people well. When little children go in the restaurant he would sometimes give them a free soft drink or something to go with their meal if they did not have enough money to afford it," one said.
Police said they have received key information which they believe could assist in the arrest of the killer. Officers said they did not wish to reveal such information, but stated that the gunman was most likely someone from around the area who had been monitoring the operations of the establishment.
"This is not just someone who decided just like that to go and rob a random Chinese restaurant. The individual responsible for this had to be monitoring its operations over a period of time," said police.
His killing came almost three months after Chinese couple, Yang Jiang Hua and Wu Xia Hua, both 60, were ambushed inside the Tiger's Chinese Restaurant and Bar, at Southern Main Road, Cunupia, during a robbery.
Around 9.45 p.m., on the night of July 16, two men entered the establishment and shot the couple before escaping with a laptop and a small amount of cash.
Wu Xia Hua died within hours of the attack while her husband died two days later while warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope. To date, no one has been arrested in connection with the murders.
An autopsy is expected to be conducted on Chang's body today at the Forensic Science Centre, Federation Park, Port of Spain today.