Troy Nieuenkirk, one of the survivors of Sunday’s fatal shooting near the Eccles Access Road, yesterday said that designer Trevor Rose operated as though he knew the gunman and had ordered him to reverse the car when the altercation occurred.
For the first time yesterday, Nieuenkirk who remains a patient of the Georgetown Hospital spoke to the media. Though at first reluctant, the man briefly recounted what had transpired.
As he sat in a wheelchair outside the High Dependency Unit (HDU) surrounding by relatives,
a composed Nieuenkirk told Stabroek News that he knew Rose as they had attended the same school.
The 30-year-old man said that he had seen Rose earlier and he had asked him for a drop.
Though the man did not say where he had seen Rose, this newspaper was told that it may have been at a city night spot. This would have been within an hour of Rose, age 31 being shot and killed.
Rose and 29-year-old Latoya Towler, the mother of one of his children boarded Nieuenkerk’s car and headed to Eccles. Towler lives in Eccles and it was believed that the two were heading to her home.
Nieuenkerk told this newspaper that it was at Eccles Access Road that the driver of the car came up to his side and asked him why he was driving so recklessly. Nieuenkerk in response said that he wasn’t and it was at that point that Rose urged him to reverse.
According to Nieuenkirk, before he could respond the man pulled out a gun and shot him in the shoulder. This, he said, prevented him from reversing and shortly after that the gunman began firing bullets at Rose.
The man made it very clear that the shooting was not as a result of road rage since Rose was behaving as though he knew the person. He said that Towler was struck by a stray bullet during the shooting. After firing several shots, he said that the gunman got into his car and drove off.
According to Nieuenkirk after the gunman drove off he started flagging down passing vehicles to get help but no one stopped. He then made the decision to drive straight to the Georgetown Hospital despite the wound to his shoulder.
During the journey, he recalled the young woman hollering that Rose was dead.
The bullet is still lodged in Nieuenkirk’s left shoulder, relatives said. It is unclear when an attempt would be made to remove it. In the meantime the shoulder is strapped up.
Stabroek News was unable to speak to Towler as when this newspaper arrived she was being wheeled out of the ward in the company of a doctor and relatives. She sustained a single gunshot wound to the buttocks. When persons gathered at her bedside were approached, they declined to speak on the issue.
Police sources yesterday said that investigators are still working. One official said that attempts were still being made to ascertain whether any surveillance cameras nearby may have captured the shooting. Based on what this newspaper was told, there is no CCTV cameras at the traffic light, which is a short distance from where the shooting took place. Investigators had hoped that some cameras mounted on a nearby building may have captured something but when they inquired they were told that the cameras were not working.
The motive for the killing remains unclear, although it is evident that Rose was the target as he sustained at least six gunshot wounds to his body.
Rose’s mother Lily Brown has since said that she will not be pursuing the matter since there is nothing anyone can do to bring her child back. She said that as far as she knew her son had no problem with anyone. She questioned why someone would want to kill him in such a manner when he wasn’t involved in crime or anything illegal.
Police in a press release said that the incident occurred at around 5 am. Nieunkirk was driving his car when another vehicle drove up alongside and the driver accosted him about how he was driving. “An argument ensued during which the driver of the other vehicle came out with a firearm and discharged a number of rounds at Nieunkirk and the other persons in his vehicle after which the perpetrator escaped,” the police said.
The police further stated that Rose was hit about his body and was pronounced dead on arrival at the GPH. The police said that a 9mm pistol and 19 matching rounds were recovered at the scene. It is unclear whether the weapon may have been dropped by the fleeing gunman.
Rose was known for his creativity when it came to fashion. He designed for several Mashramani festivals. He was also involved in basketball and entertainment.
His post-mortem examination will be done today.