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Businessman shoots thief in buttocks

Businessman shoots thief in buttocks

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Supermarket operator Randy Kennedy is thankful that worse did not occur, after he cornered and shot a shoplifter in the buttocks.{{more}}

Kennedy, the proprietor of Randy’s Supermarket and Company Ltd, told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, one day after the encounter with Ken Johnson, also known as ‘Pumpkin’, that it was not his intention to injure anyone.

“I actually meant to shoot him on his foot, but at the same time, he bent down to jump the wall, and the bullet caught him in his bottom.

“I fired three shots (two warning shots), but the one caught him. He had time to surrender my item and go free, but he throw it after me.”

Recounting the ordeal, Kennedy explained that he was at his cash and carry outlet and was just about to leave on his scooter, when it was brought to his attention by an employee that a man had taken an item and left without paying for it.

He said that at the time, he did not know what the item was.

“So, I pursued the guy with the scooter, and one of my other workers was running after the guy as well.

“He went up by River Road by Black Cat Bar and I rode up there behind him and then he cut across by OT way,” he said.

“He went through OT parking lot and then he proceeded down behind the (Victoria) Park by the Catholic Church.

“When I saw him running, normally what I would do, I would give a warning shot to say, listen I am armed and I am coming for my thing…. Because these guys are always armed with some knife or something, so I don’t go near to them. I had to take precaution because most thief men, they always have something to protect themselves.”

Kennedy told SEARCHLIGHT that he fired two warning shots and told the suspect to stop when the he got to the bottom end of Victoria Park, where the Junior Calypso/Soca competition was in progress.

He said that when the suspect realized that he could not escape through a locked gate leading to the food court of the venue, he took an alternate route that led to the St Mary’s RC School, through a gate that was open.

“So, I stopped at least ten to fifteen feet from him and came off the bike. That is when I saw what he had in his hand; he had a big bottle of Hennessey brandy.

“So, I said give me what is mine. Give me my belongings.

“He took it and smash it on the ground and run through the gate…. I don’t know if that is what made me angry, so I discharged the bullet at his foot, but he still run. I didn’t even realize that he got hit.”

Despite the injury, the suspect was still able to scale the wall and make his way across the river which separates the church from the playing field, where he hid in some bushes.

Kennedy said that with the initial assistance of traffic police officers, then members of Criminal Investigations Department, the suspect was apprehended and taken into custody.

Up to press time, Johnson, whose address was given as Georgetown, was a patient at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, under police supervision.

Kennedy informed SEARCHLIGHT that over the years, his businesses have been victim to pilfering, from internal and external forces. He said his home was also burglarized in the past, on which occasion he was shot at.

He told SEARCHLIGHT that this was the first time he has shot directly at anyone, although he had chased, fired warning shots, and apprehended shoplifters in the past, mostly without incident.

Kennedy said that if Johnson had simply surrendered the item, the situation would not have gotten to that stage.

Since the incident, a public debate has arisen as to whether Kennedy, who is a Christian, should have shot the suspect or turned the other cheek.

Kennedy defended his actions by saying that as a businessman, he has a duty to protect himself and his investments, and hopes that the incident, though unfortunate, would encourage persons to think twice about stealing from his business place, or any other, for that matter.

“I have a licensed firearm and I have my life and my business to protect…. It’s only when peopIe are in it they know what it’s about.

“Business houses today are targets, and it’s a lot of cases like this that people don’t even know about.

“I actually felt bad that it had to reach to that…. All he had to do was put down the thing and run….”(JJ)

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