CEDROS COCONUT VENDOR KILLED
A Cedros coconut vendor on his way to buy foodstuff for Sunday lunch was ambushed and shot to death in his wagon, not far away from his home yesterday morning.
Errol Sookbir’s murder left relatives and friends in shock and confused as to who would want to end his life.
But in 2010 Sookbir, who lived near the Perseverance Coconut Estate, was also shot in the same area while driving home with his wife and son. No one was arrested in that incident and the police yesterday did not know whether the two incidents were linked.
Sookbir, who had a 16-year-old son with his wife Angela Ganness and six stepchildren, had just left Ganness, his stepdaughter, her one-year-old son and his 87-year-old bedridden mother-in-law at home when he was shot along Perseverance Road.
Recalling the horrifying ordeal at the crime scene yesterday, Ganness said around 7 am her husband left in his white AD wagon to go to the nearby store to buy something for her to cook.
“He did not even reach out the road and I hear five gunshots. I started to bawl because I know something happen. The shots was not like when someone hunting. It sound real hard.”
When she ran out the house she saw two men running away.
“I started to run and I tell my daughter to call the police. I run to the door and watch through the window. I call him but he did not answer. He was slumped on the passenger side and blood was coming out his ears.”
There were gunshot wounds to his back and head, as well as bullet holes to the windscreen and the front doors, she said.
As tears welled up in her eyes, Ganness said she had no idea why anyone would want her husband dead.
“Even if he had a quarrel with someone he will never tell me,” she said.
Sookbir, who would have celebrated his 40th birthday on Independence Day, was a no nonsense person who did not hesitate to speak his mind, she said.
His friend, Anthony Steele, described him as the permanent secretary of Cedros.
“He had a loud mouth, but he was very involved in the community. We work in the same political campaign for the UNC, he was involved with the fisherfolk. Up to yesterday I spoke to him about a beach clean-up campaign with the police.”
Only last year, Sookbir was the spokesperson for fishermen who were demanding compensation following an oil spill in Fullerton.
Steele said Sookbir’s murder was a shock to him and the community.
“I really can’t explain this, but I feel the people who murdered him knew him because Errol would not stop to talk to anybody he didn’t know. He would run you over.”
Expressing hope that the killers would be caught, he said he was concerned about the murders in the community.
“Before you used to hear about a death every 50 years, now is every year to six months someone dying in my community. Who next?” he said.
Sookbir’s relatives and friends were also upset that it took more than six hours for the body to be removed and that the police did not allow his close family members to view his body. The police impounded the wagon for fingerprint and forensic analysis.
Investigators of the Siparia CID, Cedros police and Homicide Bureau visited the scene and investigations are continuing.