Bullet to the head

Police reported that shortly after 2 pm yesterday, Hayden Simmons, 35, an assistant salesman, was sitting in a Sunshine Snacks truck parked along Marjorie Padmore Avenue in Phase One, when two gunmen walked up to him.

The driver and a security officer from Thor Security Services at the time were at the driver’s home not too far from where the truck was parked, having lunch. Investigators believe Simmons saw the robbers approaching and attempted to exit the vehicle.

But he never made it past the passenger door. The gunman shot him in his head, killing him instantly. He slumped and fell to the ground, his left foot still resting on the steel step up to the passenger entrance of the truck.

On hearing the gunshot, the security guard ran out of the truck driver’s house and on seeing Simmons’ body, grabbed some children, pulling them to safety before drawing his weapon and firing shots at the fleeing thieves who managed to escape. Nothing was stolen from the delivery truck.

Acting Senior Superintendent Stephen Ramsubhag, Superintendent Samuel Bullen and ASP Luke Rojas visited the scene and supervised detectives including crime scene investigators. The area surrounding the delivery truck was cordoned off to keep curious onlookers from contaminating the crime scene.

Christopher Alcazar, Associated Brands marketing manager described the murder as “absolutely dreadful”. Alcazar said: “A man’s life has been lost. It has been lost in vain. My sincere condolences to Mr Simmons’ family.” Sunshine Snacks is a subsidiary of the Associated Brands chain of businesses. Alcazar said it was most unfortunate that a person had to be killed in cold-blood while trying to earn an honest day’s pay.

At the Simmons’ house of mourning, the victim’s mother Jessica Simmons said although her son was gunned down, she is not in favour of the reintroduction of the death penalty as the ultimate punishment for murder. “I say God is the boss. I’m not for the killings. God is the boss and he will deal with everything,” Jessica told Newsday.

Speaking at her Third Avenue, Barataria home, the mother of eight said she was finding it extremely difficult to accept that her son was dead. “He was only concerned about making a living for his family. He did not deserve to die like that,” Jessica said. Simmons’ sister Keisha said when she got the news that her brother was dead, she did not believe it. “I kept thinking it was a cruel lie and kept calling his cellular phone,” Keisha said.

Executive chairman of Associated Brands, Arthur Lok Jack, in an interview yesterday, expressed his shock at the brazen nature of the killing. “It is a sad thing. All our trucks have armed guards. And just this time, one person decided to challenge the guards and succeeded,” Lok Jack said.

He expressed his sympathy to the family saying the company would assist Simmons’ family as much as they could. “The company does what it can for the affected families. It’s part of the company policy.”

The murder toll for the year now stands at 296. No arrests have been made.


"Bullet to the head"

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