Former boxer, friend wounded in execution attempt
The deadly sound of high powered rifles awoke residents of North East La Penitence area at around 04:00 hrs yesterday, and when the gunfire ended, 47-year-old Wayne Smith, a former featherweight professional boxer, stumbled out of Toyota Carina, PKK 1759 with a gaping wound to his right shoulder and arm.
Another occupant, Winslow Edwards, also known as Abdul Mohamed, 54, of lot 321 North East La Penitence, also received injuries to his right hand while the third occupant, Dennis Edwards, miraculously escaped unscathed. The back window screen of a vehicle that was parked in a yard close by was also damaged. It was this vehicle that eventually transported the injured men to the hospital. There, Smith was rushed into the theatre where he underwent emergency surgery while Winslow Edwards was treated and sent away.
The victims had come under attack from the occupants of another car who had reportedly opened fire with high-powered rifles and a handgun immediately after exiting their vehicle.
They then fled as the intended victims cowered in their bullet-riddled vehicle.
Police who arrived at the scene some 45 minutes afterwards retrieved several bullet casings and took statements from the victims.
At the Georgetown Public Hospital Smith, a practicing Muslim of Lot 12 East La Penitence Housing Scheme, was lapsing in and out of consciousness while he was being prepared for surgical intervention. He was later placed in the male surgical ward and subsequently to the High Dependency Unit. Smith was later transferred to the Male Surgical Ward. Later in the evening, the former boxer vanished from the institution effectively terminating any kind of medical attention. Kaieteur News understands that he is being treated at a private hospital.
Kaieteur News spoke to Winslow but he said he had no idea about the motive for the attack.
His cousin, Dennis Edwards, also said he was at a loss as to what may have triggered the near-deadly assault. He said that they normally attend the Ruimveldt Mosque every morning to pray at around 04:30hrs. He said that the group had just driven off when he noticed two men in front of their vehicle. One of the men was brandishing what looked like an assault rifle while the other carried a small pistol. He said that without warning the men opened fire on his car. “It appeared as though they wanted to kill the driver (Wayne Smith) first,” the distraught man related.
After he realized that Smith was hit, Edwards said he tilted his seat backwards so that most of the bullets passed over his head.
He reported that the onslaught lasted for approximately five minutes and then the men were gone.
Realizing that the coast was clear, Winslow first exited the vehicle and collapsed on the parapet. Edwards was the second person out of the car and he subsequently sprinted into his yard about a hundred meters away. Shortly afterwards, a blood-soaked Smith exited the vehicle.
He appeared to have been worst hit and this was confirmed upon his arrival at the Georgetown Hospital.
Dennis also said that the gunmen swung their weapons from side to side, resulting in the vehicle receiving multiple shots on the bonnet, windscreen and doors.
He surmised that the men could not have been professionals. “They never checked to see if we were dead; they just sprayed the car and keep getting up,” he related. He also said that he was a staunch Muslim and he was always under the protective wings of Allah. “Allah is my guide and protector and unless he decides my time is up, no one could so decide,” he said prophetically. Meanwhile, the area resembled a battlefield when police officers arrived to conduct initial investigations some 30 minutes later. Edwards’ house bore several bullet holes to the window, door and porch. The police also retrieved dozens of spent shells from the area. They also interviewed residents in the hope of procuring clues but most of those questioned said that they only heard the sounds of the gun and decided to stay indoors. The officers subsequently impounded Edwards’ vehicle at the East La Penitence Police Station and later took a statement from him.
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