Businessman shot in Long Circular Mall carpark

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police cars on a crime scene. – File photo by Jeff K Mayers

Staff at D Dial Gym in Long Circular Mall were left shaken after the owner, businessman Michael St John, was shot in the face as he was leaving the building on Thursday. The workers are now calling for more security on the compound.

CCTV footage of the incident, which were uploaded to social media and quickly went viral, showed St John and another man approaching a van parked near the delivery entrance at the mall’s western exit.

As they approach, a black Hyundai Tucson SUV parked nearby is seen reversing out of a parking spot.

The Tucson then stops and a man emerges from the front passenger seat and fires several shots in the direction of St John and the other man. The gunmen then returns to the SUV, which drives off.

Footage taken by people at the scene, after the shooting, showed St John sitting on the ground in front of a van bleeding heavily from a major wound to the right side of his face. Blood also splatters his clothes and on the ground. He appears conscious, while a man is heard screaming for him to lie down while St John tries to use his cellphone.

He then lies on his back while the screaming man urges someone nearby to call the police.

St John was taken to hospital and treated. He was said to be warded in stable condition.

The gym did not close after the shooting and Newsday was told it will continue to open during normal opening hours for the foreseeable future.

However, a staff member said the employees were left traumatised by the incident.

“I’m still shaking. It shake all of us up. So people are working, but they’re just feeling so down and depressed right now and they want to go home and stuff like that. But we’ll be good otherwise.”

The staff member said more security at the mall “would be appreciated.”

“That’s actually the topic right now. Everybody is scared. One of my co-workers was afraid to go and empty the garbage and stuff like that because (the shooting) occurred next to where the garbage is. This branch in particular, we are scared.”

Newsday contacted the mall’s security department to ask about any possible change or increase in security arrangements after the incident.

A man who answered the call said he was “not available to say anything on that matter,” as he was, “just the security.”

Newsday also contacted Long Circular Mall’s administrative office to try and get a comment but was told no one from the “corporate level” was available to take the call.

No arrest has been made and Western Division police are continuing investigations.