Pastor stabbed to death by masked assailants
By Leon Suseran
Two masked men “in black”, armed with a cutlass and knife, stormed into the yard of a Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice Pastor, chased him down the steps into his brother-in-law’s yard, cornered him, and then stabbed him several times about his body.
Fifty-one year- old Martin Persaud known as ‘Brother Martin’ and ‘Pastor Martin’ had returned home, just after 22:00 hours on Saturday after closing an internet café he owned and operated at Lot 22 Armadale,WCB, when he was brutally killed.
It was raining heavily in the area at the time and from all appearances, the attack was well planned.
Persaud usually leaves home for the internet café at 5:30am and returns home around 10:00pm.
According to reports, Persaud had just opened one lock on his door when he was pounced upon by the men who had secreted themselves in his yard at Lot 36 Railway Dam, Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice.
“When he came home, he locked his gate and he locked the car and went upstairs from his side step…and then is where the thing started,” said Persaud’s brother-in-law, Roopchand, who lives next-door.
Roopchand said, “We hear a noise and when we peep out around 10:15, we thought it was the children in the room…we see three guys wrestling and them choke one of them (Persaud).”
He added that “they run, go down … and then me hear me brother-in-law holler for me, that he a get rob— somebody stick he up.”
It was during this time that Persaud received the first of his injuries.
He opened a gate that separated his yard from his brother-in-law’s and ran for his life towards the backyard, where the men caught up with him.
Kaieteur News was told that the pastor put up a fierce fight with his attackers. The events unfolded very quickly, according to his brother-in-law.
Roopchand said that he alerted the neighbours who then called the police.
But by then it was too late, since Persaud was discovered lying on the ground in Roopchand’s backyard, bleeding profusely from wounds about his body.
“He say he get one bore, but when the police check he, he get several bores in he stomach and ribs and so on,” Roochand said.
Persaud was barely alive when Roopchand asked him for his phone although he managed to say that the men had taken it.
The keys to the house were found in the yard and blood stains were still evident in the grass when this newspaper visited the scene yesterday.
The police from Fort Wellington had arrived nearly an hour after the incident and conducted a search of the dead pastor’s house but found that it was not ransacked and from all appearances the men had not entered.
They also took statements.
The body was taken to the Fort Wellington Hospital Mortuary.
Persaud was the sole occupant of the home at the time since his wife, Geeta and six-month-old son, MJ had left last Wednesday for vacation in Trinidad. They returned to Guyana yesterday around 13:00 hours after learning about the incident.
However, they had to wait several hours to gain entry into their house after a police rank investigating the matter went away with the keys, which should have been lodged at the police station.
Persaud, who returned to Guyana a few years ago after living in the United States of America for a while, also has an adopted daughter whom he took into his home after the girl’s parents had died.
Kaieteur News caught up with close relatives who gathered along with Persaud’s sister, Chandra Narain at relatives’ home at Middle Dam, Bush Lot and learnt that Persaud had been among family and friends at a family gathering, hours prior to his death. One of his relatives said that Persaud joined with them on Saturday afternoon at Cotton Tree where they had a good time. She said that Persaud had hugged and kissed them before leaving at about 6:30pm.
Narain and her husband, Arnold had asked him to go to Georgetown with them, but Persaud told them that he wanted to go and close his business and then go home. “We dropped him at approximately 7:00pm,” his sister said.
A grieving Narain said, “I am a pro-life and I just can’t imagine how people can take a life like that. I just can’t imagine! It’s really terrible!” She said her brother was a “very loving, very kind, very helpful” person.
Persaud was described as a man who had no enemies in the community.
He was elected last Sunday by his fellow worshippers at the Bush Lot Assemblies of God Church to be the Assistant Pastor. One of the church members Mackhan Shivram said, “All abbey voted for him to be Assistant Pastor”.
Shivram described Persaud “as a very important person in the church” who would have taken over as Pastor of the church since their appointed Pastor would soon migrate to join his family overseas. However, Shivram told Kaieteur News that some people had opposed the idea of Persaud being elected as Pastor.
“God bless him so much along with he family them, and today, me stand up at he backyard this morning and me look at he little rice field, look what he build, look what he do, and today this tragedy happen,” Shivram said, while breaking down in tears.
“He never tell anybody a hard word. If an old lady a pass to go Health Centre, he make it his duty to take his car and pick up that old lady and carry her.” he said. “He was close to me like a brother, so good.”
The question remains on everyone’s mind as to who could have carried out such a brutal killing on such a kind, loving, and upstanding member of the community. “This is like a set- up something. They know his working hours, when he come home,” a close relative opined.