Jun 07, 2009 News
A 20-year-old Albouystown man was shot dead by a public-spirited person, shortly after he snatched a chain from the neck of a young woman. The snatching occurred around midday yesterday.
Gavin Paul, called ‘Black Boy’, of Hill Street, Albouystown, collapsed and died in the Courtyard Mall on Robb Street, from a single gunshot wound after he had run for about 200 meters from the scene of the chain snatching.
Clad only in a pair of briefs, he was left lying on the sidewalk for almost an hour in the pouring rain, before his body was removed by undertakers.
Up to late yesterday, the police had not been able to identify the shooter.
The victim, Alana Butcher, of Industry, East Coast Demerara, told the media that she was on her way to purchase a meal during her lunch break, when the man came up behind her on a bicycle and grabbed her chain as she was crossing the bridge at the junction of Alexander Street and North Road.
The pawn shop employee, said that she does not know Paul, but he pretended as if he was her friend.
“He tell me, ‘You wearing all this jewellery and walking alone.’ He collect me chain and go fuh run,” Butcher recalled.
“I start fighting with he because just so he come up to me. Me and he start wrestling. He cuff me up all in me face”. Butcher said she managed to rip off the bandit’s jersey as he ran away.
“I snatch off he jersey but me ain’t know whey he pants deh,” Butcher said.
Butcher said that she went back to work and was later told that Paul was lying dead on the pave on Robb Street, opposite the Stabroek News Head Office.
“You know how much time we try fuh catch he but he run, he run, he run,” Butcher told Kaieteur News.
One eyewitness said that Paul ran into the Courtyard Mall compound calling out a woman’s name, while clutching his stomach.
The eyewitness at the mall said that another man with a cutlass in his hand who appeared to be pursuing the chain snatcher, arrived shortly after and grabbed him.
“The man telling he that he gone take him to the hospital, but he throw down heself and start rolling up on the ground,” the eyewitness told this newspaper.
She said that Paul lay on the ground for almost 20 minutes before he finally breathed his last.
A large crowd braved the pouring midday rain to get a glimpse of Paul’s almost naked body, but none were sympathetic.
News of Paul’s death reached his relatives in Albouystown and they rushed to the scene.
His mother and other close relatives broke down in tears and had to be pulled away by police ranks, as they tried to get a closer look at his body.
Relatives described Paul as a young man who had followed bad company.
His mother, Winola Baptiste, told Kaieteur News that Paul had dropped her off at church and minutes later she heard that he had been shot.
“After he drop me I turn and tell he ‘you going home because rain falling’. While in church, I see me cousin come and call me. A fear come to me and I pick up me bible and come out. I ask if is me son and he say ‘yes’,” Baptiste said.
She then left and went first to the Georgetown Public Hospital, but was subsequently told that his body was lying on Robb Street.
Relatives claimed that his mother had warned him on several occasions to break away from the path he had chosen in life.
“The whole neighbourhood could tell you I does row with he, telling he fuh don’t keep company. I plead with he and I beg he not to live them life because in the sight of God it was not a good life he living. I am a Christian and I want he grow good,” Baptiste lamented.
Relatives said that Paul had recently returned to Guyana from a Caribbean island and was to return there soon.
The dead man was the youngest of three children for his mother and her only son.
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