The police are investigating a suspected murder/suicide involving Police Assistant Superintendent Ivelaw Murray and Police Constable 20631 Kevin Shepherd, both of Springlands Police Station, which occurred today at Springlands, Corentyne, Berbice.
In a case that has struck at the heart of the Guyana Police Force, Constable Shepherd, 22, called “Black Hat” of Lot 322 Welcome Street, Rosignol, West Bank Berbice was shot dead around midnight on Saturday in his bed, allegedly by his officer, Assistant Superintendent Ivelaw Murray, with a .38 service revolver.
Murray was later found dead with a gunshot wound below his chin in his home at Hashim Street Springlands, still clutching the revolver.
Police in a press release stated that enquiries revealed that the two ranks were earlier involved in an argument in the Barrack Room at Springlands Police Station.
Later a gunshot was heard in the Barrack Room and the Subordinate Officer in charge of Traffic at the station ran to see what had happened.
As the Subordinate Officer was going up the stairs leading to the Barrack Room, he saw Assistant Superintendent Ivelaw Murray hurriedly coming down the stairs.
He enquired from the Assistant Superintendent what had happened but he got no response and Murray left the station compound.
The Traffic Subordinate Officer then proceeded upstairs to the Barrack Room where he found Constable 20631 Kevin Shepherd with a suspected gunshot wound to his head. Checks were made but no spent shell was found at the scene.
The release stated that subsequent efforts by senior police officers to contact Assistant Superintendent Ivelaw Murray proved futile.
However, further checks were made at his home at about 03:25 hours when ranks entered his home through an open door and found him lying on the floor of the living room with a suspected gunshot wound below the chin and the Force’s service revolver in his hand with three live rounds and three spent shells.
The incident began a few hours after constable Shepherd had returned for duty, having spent a few days home.
According to information received, Shepherd should have reported for work on Sunday.
His father, Gurtley Shepherd, a security guard at the Blairmont Estate, West Bank Berbice, told this newspaper that his son had returned home on Thursday on four days off, which should have ended on Sunday and they had planned to attend his uncle’s (Kelvin’s great uncle) funeral on Saturday at Mahaicony. However, during the day Kelvin informed him that he has to report for duty, because “his boss man had called” and told him that “he has to report for duty”.
He said that they were at home around 03:00 hrs on Sunday morning when a friend came and enquired if that was where Kelvin lives and that he was involved in an accident.
A few hours later, the Officer in Charge of West Berbice, Deputy Superintendent Stephen Mansell, passed by and gave his sympathy. Shepherd was still not told that his son had died, but learnt a while later from his boss.
According to his wife, Patricia Shepherd, who operates a snackette, she subsequently learnt of her son’s death, and along with other relatives traveled to Springlands.
The distraught woman said at the station that she did not get much from the officers at the location, but was only told that her son was involved in an accident. She was later told that he was shot and killed.
The woman later saw her son’s body with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.
She described her son as her best child; he was always helpful and would look out for the others. He grew up helping her in her snackette. She said that the police gave her all her son’s belongings except his cell phone. She is questioning why they kept the phone and is wondering if the police have something to hide.
“Why are they keeping his phone, there has to be something they are hiding from the family,” the dead constable’s mother said.
“I want justice for my son. Up to now no senior officer from the Guyana Police Force has visited us, and I want to know what went on. My son was murdered and nobody ain’t telling us nothing,” she added.
The relatives are claiming that there must be something going on, because, if Kelvin had done something then, the officer had the authority to discipline him, not kill him.
The family is asking for an audience with the Commissioner of Police or the Home Affairs Minister or the President.
It was understood that Shepherd and the dead Assistant Superintendent were very close and were left conversing in the barrack room shortly before the shocking events began.
A source at the Springlands Police Station told this newspaper that the two shared a ‘special relationship’.
Checks have ascertained that the firearm used was issued to Assistant Superintendent Ivelaw Murray from the station.
It is to be sent to the Ballistics Section for tests to be conducted.
Personnel from the Police Office of Professional Responsibilities have gone up to Berbice to assist with the investigations into the death of the two policemen.
The bodies are at the Springlands Hospital mortuary.
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