A bread vendor died on Friday evening, hours after he was shot by one of two bandits, posing as customers, who held him at gunpoint and demanded cash at his shop in Sophia.
Dead is Andre Alexander known as ‘Alex’ and ‘Bread man’, 42, a father of two of Lot 394 Section C, Sophia.
The attack took place around 8.30 pm; Alexander was shot once to his stomach. He was taken to the Georgetown Public Hopsital (GPH) in a conscious state, where he underwent emergency surgery and succumbed around 11 pm while receiving medical treatment.
The police in a press release said enquiries disclosed that Alexander was in his shop when the suspects arrived on a motorcycle. “The pillion rider requested three loaves of bread, paid with a $5,000 note and whilst Alexander was in the process of making change, the said suspect whipped out a handgun and demanded cash,” the police said.
According to the statement, Alexander refused and was shot. The suspects then relieved him of his cash and they escaped on the motorcycle, discharging several rounds in the process.
An investigation has been launched, but up to yesterday afternoon, no arrests had been made.
When Stabroek News visited the scene yesterday, investigators were present. At the dead man’s home, family members and friends gathered to offer words of comfort as the news of his death spread.
His wife, Beverly Best-Alexander, who was assisting him at the shop at the time of the incident said she managed to escape the bandits and ran to their home. The woman said the two men had ridden up in front of the shop. “One of them ask for the bread while the other one sit down on the bike, so he [Alexander] give them the bread and is go he did going to make change for them and another customer when he [the bandit] pull out a gun, point it to he and tell he give he the money,” she explained.
Beverly said her husband refused and held onto the gun. She said, “I run behind the shop and hide and after I hear a shot fire, I run up the road to go home and when I was halfway, I hear more shots fire.” She added, that when she returned minutes later, she saw her husband lying on a bench near the shop; he had been shot.
Meanwhile, Alexander’s mother, Loretta Alexander, a former matron at the GPH recalled hearing the sound of a single gunshot. She said minutes later, “Someone call the home phone and tell me let we bring the car my son was shot, but before we coulda do that they [the residents] already had he in a bus to take he to the hospital,” she said.
The woman said the doctors and staff at the hospital tried their best to save Alexander’s life.
A businessman, who operates a shop a short distance away, said he was attending to customers when his son came rushing in, “Me son run and come tell me, ‘Daddy come! Bread man just get shoot!’” he said. The man said he immediately rushed to the scene where he assisted other residents in getting Alexander to the hospital.
“After I hear that I couldn’t do nothing
anymore. Like I don’t want do business in this place anymore. It ain’t safe,” he said.
He and other residents of the community vented their frustration. “You doing you lil business and they coming and kill yuh just suh for what you earning and all. This place ain’t safe to stay anymore… My family won’t want to live here no more,” he said. Another man said, “They do something and the possibility of catching them is hard. If you do get them and they get charge, they go and tell the court how they innocent and they get off or get release on bail… They got to stop loosing them because they coming out here and create trouble again.”
Alexander leaves to mourn his mother, wife and two children who reside overseas. He had been a bread vendor for the past seven years and was well known in his community as a very easy-going individual.