A controversy is brewing over the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Lindener Randy Tello by members of the Joint Services on Tuesday night.
While the police are claiming that the man was part of a gang that had hurled missiles at the ranks, relatives are maintaining that he was just an innocent man on his way home.
The man is presently in hospital being treated for a gaping wound to the left side of his face.
Police in a statement issued yesterday said that at about 21:20 hours on Tuesday, a group of men threw missiles at the vehicle and ranks of a Joint Services mobile patrol at One Mile, Wismar.
The police said that the ranks pursued the men and caught up with one of them.
“During efforts to arrest him a rubber bullet was discharged by a police rank which struck the man to his left side face. A knife and a quantity of marijuana were found in his possession,” the police statement said.
According to the police, the man, who was subsequently identified as Randy Tello, 25, of Half Mile, Wismar, was taken to the Mackenzie Hospital by the ranks where he was admitted.
But Rocklin Tello, the mother of the injured man, told this newspaper that her son, a former boxer, was on his way home when he was confronted by Joint Services personnel.
The woman said that the ranks called on her son to come to them and he refused, prompting them to advance towards him.
Not wanting to be detained unnecessarily, Tello briskly walked away. It was then she said that the police shot him.
According to the woman, the ranks “dragged” her son off to the Mackenzie hospital where they “dumped” him. They subsequently drove away.
Rocklin Tello said that apart from the gunshot wound, her son sustained injuries to his back which suggest a beating with the use of guns. Although the police said that the man was found with a knife and a quantity of marijuana, they are not treating him as a criminal suspect.
In fact, he is not under police guard at the hospital.
Tello’s shooting follows those of several persons last Sunday by the Joint Services. None of these persons are facing charges, although the actions that would have led to them being shot have been deemed by the police as unlawful.
There were no charges against those persons who were wounded on July 18 when police opened fire killing three protestors.
“Like dese police just shooting people fuh fun,” one Lindener told this newspaper.
Young men in the mining town are claiming that they are being harassed by police ranks who order them of the roads even though there is no curfew in force.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Police Force said that it is not aware of any other person being shot during Joint Services activities in Linden on Tuesday night.
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