Mar 18, 2011 News
The Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered police to re-open their investigations into the shooting death of Pakaraimas resident Sampson Jacob Aaron, whose demise had been ruled a suicide.
The request came after relatives of Aaron provided Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee with a statement in which they expressed suspicion that the 32-year-old was murdered by a woman.
They have also suggested that persons close to the suspect are helping to conceal the truth.
Aaron, of Kurukubaru, Pakaraimas, was found lying in a hammock in his home on February 17, last, with a gunshot wound above the right temple.
The bullet had reportedly exited at the back of the right ear. A loaded firearm and a bullet casing were reportedly recovered from the scene.
Relatives said that he was still alive, but succumbed some hours later.
The remains were buried in a shallow grave, but were subsequently exhumed to facilitate a post mortem.
Commander of ‘E’ and ‘F’ Division, Assistant Police Commissioner David Ramnarine told Kaieteur News that police ruled Aaron’s death a suicide, since investigators found gunshot residue on one of the victim’s hands.
Commander Ramnarine had told Kaieteur News that the investigation was hampered by some of the residents, who had refused to cooperate with the investigating ranks.
Yesterday, Ramnarine also confirmed that Aaron’s death is being investigated.
“Unfortunately, it would appear to me that many people, who would want to mean well, would prefer to do so after the fact. In these circumstances, a lot of resources would have to be expended to conduct, in my mind, another investigation. But this is the reality of life in this country. It never ceases to amaze me that we have so many supposedly smart people who would want to assist law enforcement officers, but would conveniently choose when they want to.”
Relatives told Kaieteur News that they suspect that Aaron, who died from a gunshot wound to the head last month, was slain by a woman with whom he had a turbulent relationship. But they said that while police who went to the community questioned other villagers and members of the village council, they never questioned any of Aaron’s relatives, who could have pointed them to the suspect.
The relatives alleged that persons told the investigators that the firearm that was found at the scene belonged to Aaron. However, they claim that the handgun, which is unlicensed, belongs to a prominent member of the community. They also allege that the same weapon was used in a shooting about two years ago.
They conceded that Aaron had possession of the same firearm for a brief period on the day he was shot, but claimed that the woman had it in her possession afterwards.
Recounting their version of events on the day Aaron was shot, a relative said that on February 17, Aaron and others had gone to do some self-help work in Tumong Valley, an area that is about two hours walking distance from Kurukubaru village. They said that the gathering had a feast and also consumed some alcoholic beverages, but insist that Aaron was not intoxicated.
They claimed the suspect was also there and that she and Aaron had a brief argument. Aaron allegedly then picked up his two-year-old daughter and left for home. He reportedly left the unlicensed firearm behind, and relatives claim that the woman picked it up and followed Aaron.
Kaieteur News was told that later that day, persons living near to Aaron’s residence heard a gunshot.
A female relative of Aaron’s reputed wife reportedly entered the home and found the reputed wife weeping, while Aaron lay with the gunshot wound in the hammock. He was said to be still alive.
According to Aaron’s relatives, the reputed wife told villagers that she saw two men running from the house shortly after Aaron was shot.
Kaieteur News understands that Aaron’s mother and other residents were initially told bandits had shot him.
One account suggests that the firearm was found under the hammock. Another report indicated that it was located in a corner of the house, and a third account is that a woman hid the unlicensed weapon in the grass.
Relatives said that Aaron died the following day.
They added that residents took the remains to Tumong Valley, where the victim’s mother lives.
Ranks arrived from Kato Police Station on February 19 and advised that the body be buried in a shallow grave so that it could be easily exhumed for a post mortem. The remains were exhumed about a week later.
In a comment earlier this week, Commander Ramnarine had said that his investigators had expressed their “extreme dissatisfaction” at the behaviour of some residents, who were unwilling to assist the policemen.
According to the Commander, a sergeant and a constable who arrived first at the scene were refused meals.
The (Kato) station is about four hours’ walk from Kurukubaru. It was only on arrival of the team from Georgetown several days after, that these two policemen were offered some form of relief in the form of food.
“It was an extremely harsh situation. And it was only after some intervention by way of pleading that we were able to get an exhumation done, so that a post mortem could be facilitated.”
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