News
November 13, 2009
Youth shot dead during armoured car holdup

by TIM SLINGER 13.NOV.09

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – One man was shot dead, while a second man is assisting people with investigations after a late-night attempted robbery of an armoured truck on a routine pick-up Saturday.{{more}}

Justin Rohan Beckles, 24, of Kew Road, Bank Hall, St Michael, succumbed to gunshot injuries outside Triple D Enterprises at Mapp Hill, St Michael, after an exchange of gunfire with a security guard from the firm G4S Security.

Reports indicated that personnel from the security firm’s armoured vehicle service were making the usual cash pickup from the St Michael business when the incident occurred around 11:15 p.m.

According to an eyewitness, one of the three security guards was emerging from the business place with the day’s takings when he was confronted by a masked Beckles, who was also wearing gloves and wielding a shotgun. Another armed and masked bandit also approached the security guard.

There was a subsequent exchange of gunfire and when it was over Beckles lay dead at the store’s entrance with the shotgun beside him. The dead man’s partner escaped on foot in the nearby district.

The shooting also left five large holes in the armoured vehicle’s door.

When contacted at home last Sunday, the dead man’s mother Cynthia Beckles expressed shock about how the sixth of her eight children met his death.

According to her, she had spoken to him earlier in the night (around 7 p.m.) and he was making plans to visit his brother’s birthday “session” which was being held in the neighbourhood.

“He was eating fish and drinking, then he was talking to his brother on the phone,” she recalled.

The distraught mother said she could not come to grips with the news.

“When the police came to me and say that Justin get killed in a robbery at Mapp Hill, the whole thing jolt me ‘cause I thought all along he was still at the session,” she told the DAILY NATION.

The grieving mother pointed to a shack at the rear of her home and said: “If you look in there you will still see the New Testament on his bed open to a passage.

“I can’t believe it,” she sobbed.

Melicia Francis, the deceased’s girlfriend, said she had been looking forward to plaiting Justin’s hair Sunday, a request he had made the day before.

Crying uncontrollably, Francis said: “This can’t be true.”

Meanwhile, Roger Barrow, managing director of G4S Security, said he did not want to comment on the matter since it was still under police investigation. However, he said the firm would look after the well-being of its staff who were involved in the incident.

“Counselling is a standard part of our operating procedure and we will be looking after our staff,” he said.