KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 9, IWN – The robbery in Belair Friday night netted a lot more than just the $300 or so in cash.
The robber also took something much more precious, which he did not carry with him when he left.
He took a wallet containing EC$210 and US$21, a fistful of coins, and the life of 46-year-old Elmore Augustus Mapp.
Glaston “Big Black” Hunte told I-Witness News on Saturday that he and Mapp were friends for many years.
Hunte has a problem with his feet and cannot walk without the use of a metal walker.
Mapp, a sailor, stayed with Hunte at his Belair home while the inter-regional cargo vessel on which he worked is being repaired.
Hunte sleeps on a small bed in the room on the ground floor of the two-storey building he and his sister owns.
Mapp slept on the floor in a corner of the room.
The lock on the door to the room is broken and Hunte said they used a broomstick to jam the door at night.
And, sometime around midnight Friday, someone pushed in the door, immediately fired off a gunshot, and demanded money, Hunte said.
Mapp cried out in pain inside the room where a small television was on.
It later became clear that the shot was discharged in direction where Mapp was sleeping.
Hunte, who sells cigarettes and wrapping paper, having closed down his business after he developed the problems with his legs, said he told the intruder that the money was under his pillow.
The intruder, he said, pushed his hand under the pillow and retrieved some coins.
“When he pulled out his hand the first time, he saw that he got only some coins,” Hunte said of the robber.
The robber, Hunte further said, walked back to the door, fired another shot into the room and demanded money.
Hunte told I-Witness News that he again told the criminal that the money was under the pillow. This time, the robber retrieved the wallet.
“Yes, this is what I want,” Hunte quoted the robber as saying before he left the room.
An injured Mapp then crawled to the light switch and turned on the light. Hunte used his walker to get to a window and asked a neighbour to call the police.
Mapp crawled back to his bedding while they awaited the arrival of the police.
When the police arrived, they pronounced him dead.
“My good, good buddy,” Hunte said of the friend he had lost.
The marks on the wall where the gunshot ricocheted are a constant reminder of Hunte’s friend and the circumstances in which he lost him.
But he says he has no choice but to live in the room.
Hunte, who was lying on the bed during the interview, demonstrated the limited movement of his legs.
His legs, he said, would not allow him to move to a house belonging to other relatives.
But he will have the lock on the door changed, he said.
Mapp is the second confirmed homicide victim so far this year.
On Jan. 9, Glen resident Reuben Robinson, 51, was charged with the murder of fellow villager Kemmie Hackshaw, 39.
Police say that Hackshaw died after being struck in the head with a hammer during an altercation.
Police are yet to say if the death of a new-born baby, whose body was found in a garbage bin in Kingstown in January, is a homicide.
They initially said that they were treating it as a case of concealment of birth.