By Morgan Adderley
Tribune Staff Reporter
A 37-YEAR-old security guard was murdered while on duty early yesterday morning during an armed robbery.
Alfred Gerard Kemp, described by relatives as a humble, respectable man, had only been working as a security officer for five days when the tragedy occurred.
Relatives say he was covering a shift at Commonwealth Brewery Limited’s JFK warehouse location for someone else. In response to the tragedy, Commonwealth Brewery Managing Director Jügen Mulder announced that location was closed for the day. It is set to reopen today.
According to police, Kemp and two other security officers were on duty when the incident occurred. Police suspect there were about five assailants.
“According to reports, shortly after midnight, three security officers were on duty at a wholesale wine and spirits company on John F Kennedy Drive, when they were accosted by a group of armed men who held them at bay and robbed them of personal items, before shooting one of them, then making good their escape from the property,” the Royal Bahamas Police Force statement noted.
“Paramedics were called to the scene, attempted to revive the injured man; however, he was pronounced dead on the scene. The other two security officers were not injured during this incident.”
Kemp’s home was filled with relatives yesterday who described him as a devoted uncle, faithful church-goer, and respected community mechanic.
His aunt, Glendina Nairn, fought back tears as she described how happy Kemp was to get this job - which he had for less than a week.
“(He) just gone on that job,” Ms Nairn said. “All that time he was training, and I was so happy for him. He never bothered nobody. Nice, quiet and humble. Nice young man…very respectable. Never bother nobody, never trouble nobody. You wouldn’t hear a harsh word from (him).
“I mean, if you hit him, he mightn’t even hit you back. That’s just how humble he was. Very kind. And he took care of his little nephews.”
Another aunt, Janice Lewis, told The Tribune Kemp was not scheduled to work that fateful night.
“He was off,” she said. “That was not his shift. Someone called him in and asked him if he can do it, and he did it willingly. He was happy to go. Because he was so proud of his new job.”
Kemp, who had no children, was also described by a cousin as being a skilled mechanic who also dabbled in yard maintenance. She added he took care of the cars of many people in the community.
However, he decided to become a security officer to acquire a steadier income.
Commonwealth Brewery addressed the tragic incident in a statement released yesterday.
“Early this morning, one of our security team members lost his life during an incident at our JFK warehouse location,” the statement reads.
“The matter is currently being investigated by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family during this difficult time. We wish to advise our valued customers that due to this unfortunate occurrence our JFK warehouse will be closed to the public until Wednesday.”
Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to call Central Detective Unit at 502-9991/2, Crime stoppers at 328-TIPS (8477) or the nearest police station.
The investigation continues.