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A vendor nicknamed ‘Pumpkin’ was shot dead on Wednesday morning at his stall inside the Tunapuna Market. The shooting took place at 6:45 am in full view of other vendors, who like the victim Anthony ‘Pumpkin’ Noel, were also preparing their stalls for the day’s sales.

Noel, 33, of Monte Grande, Tunapuna was placing his produce including pumpkins and provisions on a stall when he was approached by a man dressed in black Muslim garb, with a mask over his face. 

The man shot Noel twice in the back. As Noel slumped to the ground, the gunman ran south, crossed the Priority Bus Route and escaped. 

Officers led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Surujdeen Persad and including Snr Supt Rajkumar, Inspectors Vetus Hernandez, Ramnath and others along with District Medical Officer Dr Ramroop, visited the scene and Noel’s stall was cordoned off. Investigators received key information yesterday and were working on certain leads. 

Market vendors told Newsday that Noel used to sell illegal drugs but turned his lifestyle around and began selling vegetables and provision for another market vendor. 

Vendors said Noel was making great progress in staying on the right path. Another market vendor claimed Noel was a gambler and may have owed the wrong person money. 

“Pumpkin was not a bad person, in fact he was just trying to make ends meet in these hard times and look at what happened to him. 

No one is safe anymore,” said a vendor. Noel’s body remained on the ground next to his stall in the market for close to three hours before it was removed to the Forensic Science Centre in St James. 

Four spent shells were recovered from the scene. The murder toll stands at 152.

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