Trinidad: A 79-year-old doctor killed during robbery

Relatives of Dr Sinanan Lutchman

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) The murder of 79-year-old family doctor during an armed robbery sent shock waves in the eastern town of Sangre Grande yesterday.

Dr Sinanan Lutchman, of Guaico Tamana Road, succumbed to a gunshot injury about 30 minutes after he was shot.

The father of one was at his Paul Street office around 2 pm when two men, wearing bandannas, entered the doctor’s office.

Armed with guns, they demanded the doctor hand over cash and his licenced firearm.

He was shot in the forehead and fell to the ground.

The bandits tied up the doctor’s common-law wife, who works as the receptionist, and demanded money. They took the cash and the doctor’s firearm and ran out of the building. They escaped by running along Paul Street.

Employees from a nearby business heard the woman’s screams and alerted the police.

Police officers from Sangre Grande CID and Crime Patrol Unit responded and took the injured doctor to the Sangre Grande District Hospital. He succumbed to his injuries during emergency treatment.

As news spread of the incident, people gathered outside the doctor’s office. Many commented that Lutchman was a friendly and caring doctor and should not have to die in such a brutal way.

Former patients were crying and said Lutchman was the only doctor who will assist the poor when they visited his office and did not have the money.

He was also the doctor for the Home for the Aged at Green Acres, Foster Road, Sangre Grande. When the caretaker of the home heard that the doctor was killed, she wept and recalled only on Sunday he was making jokes with the residents there.

The doctor’s son, who did not disclose his name, said he had visited his father’s office earlier where he dropped off some grapes and within an hour he received a phone call informing him that his father was shot.

He said he could not believe the news. At the hospital, the son wept and questioned why the bandits had to kill his father.

“He was kind, generous and loving to people, he never made himself above his patients, he always reached their level,” he said.

President of Sangre Grande Chamber of Commerce, Ricardo Mohammed told Guardian Media that Lutchman “was a warm, generous man, who at times gave free medical check-up to patients. His motive was to assist the sick and make them feel well.”

Businesswoman Indra Sinanan-Ojah Maharaj said the chamber is going to pass a motion to prevent people from wearing hats and caps when entering business places in Sangre Grande.

She recalled that Lutchman sold chicken to pursue his studies and always said it was better to work hard and earn an honest day’s pay.

“Some people now only want to collect money with the use of a firearm,” she said.

The body of Lutchman will be taken to the Forensic Science Centre, St James today for an autopsy.

Investigators are reviewing CCTV footage from nearby buildings which they hope can help identify the killers.

Officers from Homicide Bureau, Region 2, Arouca is continuing investigation.

Visiting the scene were ASP Etienne, Cpl Hanooman, PCs Toussaint, Bhaggan, Mahabir, WPC Adolphus and Insp Lawrence and other officers from Homicide Bureau.

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