Shoppers cautious after firebombing
STORE OWNERS in the Tudor Street area have been feeling the pinch of a shopping fall-out since the tragic fire at Campus Trendz on September 3.
On that fateful night, six young ladies, three of whom were employees at the store and three customers perished after two robbers entered the store, demanded money and threw fire bombs inside, trapping them in the process.
Since then, 19-year-old Jamar Dewayne Orlando Bynoe of Headley’s Land, Bank Hall and 21-year-old Renaldo Anderson Alleyne of Prescod Bottom, Hindsbury Road, have been charged with the murder of Shanna Griffith, Kellishaw Ollivierre, Nikkita Belgrave, Pearl Amanda Cornelius, Kelly-Ann Welch and Tiffany Harding.
Yesterday, a trek down Tudor Street, revealed that potential shoppers were disembarking from buses and heading straight towards Swan Street and Broad Street.
One store owner, who had a display board with those who had died in the fire, said business had almost slowed to a halt since the incident.
“The customers are hardly coming into this area, and when they do come in, they are not staying long, just a quick glance and running back out,” he stated.
“Usually on Friday evenings, the people are all down this road, you can hardly find anywhere to pass, but all this week we have had to close the stores early because there is hardly any traffic in this area,” he stated.
He said the area needed security lighting urgently, since on more than one occasion, he had seen daring daylight robberies in the area.
Another shop owner who also wanted to remain anonymous said customers still seemed to be staying away from the area, but she was hoping things would pick back up soon.
“It has been a horrible tragedy, and anyone would be scared. I myself am paying very close attention to those coming in and going out because you never know what can happen,” she stated.
Leleta Rampersaud, manager at the Bena’s Discount which is next door to where the incident happened, was happy to report that shoppers were slowly coming back.
“We still have a moderate crowd coming in and looking around and I believe people are now beginning to move on with their lives,” she stated.
Jessica Sobers, one of the customers in that store however acknowledged that she constantly looked over her shoulders. “If you look around, even in here there is only one exit, so there is nowhere to run,” Sobers added.
Roger Bridgeman who was also on Tudor Street yesterday, said he too was now very conscious of his surroundings.
“Whenever I go in a shop now I look around for the exits. It’s really a scary thing how those girls lost their lives,” he noted.
Another lady said she had been trying not to think of the incident, but found she was popping in and getting out of stores as quickly as possible.
“Since that incident, I have been going in, picking up what I want and leaving the stores. I haven’t been lingering at all,” she added.