MINUTES before he was shot dead by a gunman pretending to be a customer, at his Sangre Grande mini-mart on Sunday afternoon, the common-law wife of murdered businessman Sherwin Bernard visited him at work and asked him to leave early so he could enjoy the rest of the evening with family.
Bernard, 46, was at the Savannah Bar and Mini-Mart on the Toco Main Road, Vega de Oropouche, at around 3.20 pm when a man drove up to the store in a white Nissan Tiida and asked for a tank of gas.
Bernard got out of the store to help the man who pulled out a gun and shot him once in the face before driving off.
Police from the Eastern Division visited the scene with a district medical officer who declared Bernard dead.
Speaking with Newsday at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, on Monday, Bernard’s common-law wife Natasha Nancoo said she was still shaken after his murder and did not know why anyone would want to harm him.
Recalling her last conversation with Bernard, Nancoo said she kissed him and asked him to come home.
“I went back and visited him at around 2.30 pm, after Church, I told him to take a half day and come home with me.
“He said he wanted to work until that evening, I told him I was going to make Agouti and roti for him.
“I even asked if he wanted me to bring some for him, but he said he would eat it when he got home, but he never come home.”
Nancoo said she and Bernard have been in a relationship for the past eight years, the last three of which they were engaged. She said he planned to buy a house soon but was left devastated by his murder.
Nancoo said while Bernard had no children, he treated her three as his own and they were also grieving his murder.
Newsday also spoke to Bernard’s older brother Shawn Bernard, who said he also could not think of any reason why anyone would want to harm his brother as he remembered him as an easygoing person.
The elder Bernard, a retired police officer, said crime was out of control and felt police were incapable of addressing crime due to several weaknesses in the organisation.
“If people knew the true state of crime in TT they would be afraid to come out of their house. It is that bad.
“The police are understaffed, they are undermaintained, there is a lack of equipment and personnel to deal with this situation.”
Bernard said he also felt more should be done to issue Firearms Users Licences (FULs) to legitimate business owners to dissuade bandits from targeting them. Police from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Region II are continuing enquiries.