Shortly after he was seen arguing with two men posing as customers in his shop, a 32-year-old Linden grocer was shot dead on Monday afternoon.
Dead is Romel Edison Gomes, called “Eddie,” a father of one of Lot 53 Wismar Housing Scheme, Linden, who was found in his shop in a pool of blood with his hands bound in front and a kerchief tied around his mouth. He was shot once to his head. After the discovery of his body, Gomes was rushed to the Linden Hospital complex, where he was pronounced dead on arrival
The murder is suspected to have occurred around 5.30pm involving two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun and who fled the scene in Gomes’ car, PVV 2057, which had been parked in front of his premises.
The car was recovered intact about 9 am yesterday at One Mile Wismar, said to be a seven-minute drive from the scene.
Gomes, Stabroek News was told, owned and operated a shop situated in front his house.
While the motive for the killing remains unclear, Stabroek News understands that Gomes was in his shop when he was approached by the suspects.
An argument subsequently ensued during which he was shot.
Residents reported hearing a loud explosion coming from the scene and upon checking they discovered Gomes’ lifeless body in a pool of blood.
Contacted for a comment yesterday, Comman-der of ‘E’ Division (ag) Anthony Vanderhyden told Stabroek News that several persons were taken into custody.
Vanderhyden said it was yet to be determined if anything was stolen from Gomes. He, however, added that investigators are currently pursuing every possible lead with the hope of solving the crime.
Up to late yesterday afternoon, he said crime scene investigators were processing the recovered vehicle and obtaining fingerprints.
The police, in a press release, said Gomes’ bedroom was ransacked. A blood-stained kitchen knife and a spent shell of a small calibre weapon were also found at the scene, the release added.
Gomes’ brother-in-law, Jerome Allicock, who resides in Linden, said based on what he learnt, the murder occurred shortly after Gomes’ three-year-old was picked up by his babysitter.
“He [the child] don’t normally be in the yard playing, so when she [the babysitter] pass and see him, she went and hold him and call Romel,” Allicock related. “She [the babysitter] told him to take Mani [ the child] inside but I hear Romel tell them [the bandits] ‘Wait, leh this girl collect meh son,’” he said.
According to Allicock, the woman had just walked away from the scene when she heard the sound of a gunshot.
Allicock said he was at home when he received a call from Gomes’ neighbour, who informed him that Gomes had been shot.
As a result, he immediately rushed to the scene, where he saw police.
“When I go there, the police actually arrived the same time and they check him [Gomes] and so and they say this man look like he done dead but they put him in the pick-up and take him to the hospital and by time they reach, the doctors pronounce he dead,” Allicock explained.
Meanwhile, Althea Gill, the overseas-based wife of the dead man, was yesterday still trying to come to grips with the news of his death.
She explained to this newspaper that she and her husband would usually talk every day and night and she was about to call him on Monday evening, when she received the news from her brother. “I was waiting to call him in the evening [Monday] but when I called around 6, I didn’t get him then around 6.30 my brother called and tell me they shoot him,” Gill said.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I froze,” she added.
The woman also related that Gomes was expected to move to the United States soon. “…He would have come soon. My son went back home to be with his father. He loved that child [their son] so much,” she said.
Gill described her husband as a good man, who was very ambitious.