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Man killed outside Cocorite workplace

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Khalil Blanchfield’s mother, Merle, is assisted by a police officer at the scene in Cocorite where he was shot dead yesterday. Inset: Khalil Blanchfield in an undated photograph. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR

Khalil Blanchfield woke up yesterday morning with a feeling that he should not go to work. He ignored that urge and was shot dead outside his workplace at Peake’s Home Store, Western Main Road, Cocorite, yesterday. Blanchfield’s co-workers heard several gunshots outside just after 8 am. When they checked they saw him lying on the pavement near the entrance to the store’s car park, gasping for breath. 



Homicide police say they have no motive for the killing but suspect it was gang-related. They say Blanchfield might not have been in a gang but may have associated with gang members and was shot as a result. Shortly after he was killed, Blanchfield’s sister, Naomi, and their mother, Merle Thomas, arrived and cried uncontrollably. Thomas had to be held by her son’s co-workers and at times was seen rolling on the ground crying out to see her son one last time. 


Naomi was heard shouting that her brother had wanted to stay home. “Oh gosh, now I have no brother,” she shouted. Thomas said she spoke to her son at 7.58 am and asked him where he was and he said he was at the Cocorite walkover. Twelve minutes later he was fighting for his life. Blanchfield, 21, of Savannah Terrace, Bagatelle, was a warehouse attendant at the store and was loved by all who worked there, store manager Jerome Tang told the T&T Guardian. 


Blanchfield, he said, only began working there four months ago and wherever he went in the store he was well accepted. Thomas said her son never said he was threatened by anyone. “Oh God, Jesus, is only when it reach home you does know how it feels. As he cross the road they shoot him,” Thomas said. There was a traffic jam for hours after the killing as crime scene officers conducted their investigation and awaited the arrival of the DMO.


Some staff members were allowed to go home yesterday morning while others were seen crying as they attended to customers. Senior sources at the store said because of the Christmas season it would not have been wise to close the store yesterday.


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