FULL STORY:Chef shot dead

Maria Bradshaw,

Added 17 January 2013

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Thirty-three-year-old Kari Cumberbatch, a line chef at the upscale CinCin By The Sea Restaurant at Prospect, St James, was gunned down yesterday morning in the restaurant’s car park while dropping off his girlfriend to work. Reports indicate that Cumberbatch, who was involved in a relationship with lunch manager Alviena Powers, was shot in the head by a man, who also threatened a staff member with the gun and dragged Powers out of the restaurant. Powers was yesterday being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a wound to the head and was expected to be discharged. An employee at the restaurant told the DAILY NATION that Cumberbatch was dropping Powers off to work around 10 a.m. when they were approached by a man as soon as he parked his car. “One of the workers heard a commotion outside and went out there and told him ‘why you don’t leave them alone’; he pointed the gun at him and told him ‘if you know what is good for you, you will step back’.”The woman said the employee ran back into the restaurant and alerted the other staff members about what had taken place. “We all ran upstairs and Alviena ran into the restaurant screaming with the man behind her. I understand that he pointed the gun at her but it did not go off. He then locked off her neck, dragged her outside and took her away in a car.” The employee said that on Wednesday the same man had been on the compound “harassing” Powers. Family members of the deceased soon gathered at the scene and broke down at the sight of his body slumped over in the small red car, the seat belt still on. Father Wayne Cumberbatch, a former police scenes-of-crime officer, could not hold back the tears as he spoke about his son who resided at their home at Fairview Heights, St George. “My son was a very nice boy. I cannot believe this has happened. Today is my father’s 96th birthday and I called him in England this morning to wish him happy birthday but I could not tell him that Kari was dead,” he cried. His wife Jacinth, a senior primary school teacher, also broke down and her family doctor had to be summoned. The couple also has two daughters. Simone Lovell, the mother of Cumberbatch’s two year-old child, was also on the scene with family members. Management at CinCin yesterday issued a statement expressing condolences to the family of the deceased. “It is with a sense of sorrow that we express utmost regret at the senseless curtailing of a young life in the car park of our Prospect, St James restaurant. The situation has impacted us all and our staff will be undergoing counselling prior to our reopening. The tragic events of Wednesday, January 16th, 2013, will remain with us forever, as will our fond memories of Kari – a father, a son and a talented chef with a bright future,” the statement read. Both Powers and Cumberbatch joined the restaurant in 2011. Police public relations officer Inspector David Welch said a man was in custody assisting police with their investigations. He stated that Powers’ injury was not gun related but said he could not say where she was taken by her attacker. He however disclosed that she was taken to the hospital by ambulance. It is understood that the assailant is a well known taxi driver. mariabradshaw@nationnews.com

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