By Latoya Giles
Controversy surrounds the shooting to death of 28-year-old Hewley Nicholas Barker, of Norton Street, Lodge.
Barker was shot dead early yesterday morning, by an off-duty Assistant Superintendent of the Guyana Police Force.
A friend of Barker, Mark Caesar known as “Lil Mark” was also shot during the scuffle; he is currently a patient in the High Dependency Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital. His condition is listed as critical.
There are reports that the police officer was attacked by a number of rogue elements at Roopa’s Bar in Kitty and he retaliated in self defence.
An eyewitness to the shooting said that the officer had earlier parted a fight between one of the victims and another patron of the bar.
The eyewitness further explained that the victim felt annoyed and left the bar only to return about 30 minutes later with two other men.
“They all began beating the officer, who in turn fired shots towards the men.” Barker and ‘Lil Mark’ were hit.
The eyewitness said that after the officer began shooting, the men began running away but the two injured men collapsed.
They were taken to the hospital where Barker was pronounced dead. A police patrol was immediately summoned to the scene.
It was also alleged that after the police patrol arrived at the scene, there was confrontation between the officers and a few of the dead man’s friends.
Police Commissioner Henry Greene told this newspaper that the Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the circumstances relating to the actions of the officer.
According to Greene, statements have already been taken and at least two persons have supported the policeman’s version of the events.
But when this newspaper visited the dead man’s relatives they told a different version.
They are claiming that the killing was extra judicial. Barker’s mother, Sandra Barker, said that she received the grim news some time around 03:00hrs yesterday.
She said that she last saw her son earlier on Friday when he brought his clothes to be washed.
She explained that one of his friends called and said that Hewley was shot and it does not look like he would make it.
The woman said that she and her husband immediately went to the hospital. When they arrived there Barker was already dead. His body was already wrapped up waiting to be taken to the mortuary.
“When I saw him he was covered in blood. I really could not tell where exactly he was shot,” the mother said.
The woman described her son as a very jovial individual who loved his family. However, at the same time the mother said that she would not stifling her conscience.
“My son was no saint but he did not deserve to die in that manner. If there was a problem he should have been arrested,” the woman cried.
She said that she never really liked the friends that her son kept because they all had unsavoury characters.
The woman also noted that son was never really a “talkative person” when it was about his personal life.
The woman said that she hopes that the police would do a thorough investigation to ascertain what really transpired. She also said that she would be praying that there is no “cover-up”.
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