Gunmen in Issano attack stole over $2M in gold
– shot mining camp GM admitted to city hospital
Shot mining camp general manager, Vernon McKenzie said, yesterday, that the gunmen who attacked the 14 Miles, Issano, establishment on Friday had tried to kill him even after he had given them over nine ounces of gold. The haul is estimated to be worth some $2.2M.
Mc Kenzie, who was wounded in the left shoulder, said he survived the attack by pretending to be dead, even as the two masked men searched his pockets.
He was brought out of the interior around 01;00 hrs yesterday and is awaiting surgery at a city hospital.
The victim, from Second Avenue, Bartica, told Kaieteur News that the attack occurred around 17:00 hrs, shortly after they had “washed down.”
The general manager recalled that he was a short distance from the camp when two masked men with handguns emerged from nearby bushes.
The employee who was with him reportedly fled, but the gunmen held Mc Kenzie at gunpoint and demanded that he hand over the valuables in the camp.
The general manager said that he immediately gave them some 9.5 ounces of raw gold, in the hope that the robbers would let them go unharmed.
Instead, one of the gunmen, who was standing a few feet away, pointed his gun at Mc Kenzie and squeezed the trigger.
Mc Kenzie believes that the bandit had intended to shoot him in the head, but the general manager said he shifted just in time and the bullet struck him in the left shoulder. He collapsed to the ground where he feigned death, while the bandits “ran through” his pockets before fleeing.
After he was sure that they were gone, the injured man walked to the camp where he radioed for help.
He was brought to Bartica by Land Cruiser at around 1:00 hrs yesterday before being transported to Georgetown. Up to late yesterday evening police ranks were still at Issano trying to locate the bandits.