Apr 29, 2013 News
– getaway car not yet located
Detectives probing the fatal shooting of their colleague Corporal Romain Cleto will be relying heavily on footage from surveillance cameras in the downtown Georgetown area to help them track down the killers.
Cleto was shot dead near the busy Plaisance Bus Park area at the junction of Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic by gunmen in a silver Toyota Carina 212 car just before 19:00 hours on Saturday.
So far, apart from a few persons who police have detained for questioning, investigators do not have sufficient leads on the killers.
“We just pulled in a few known characters for questioning. People who we believe may be linked to activities like this one,” a source close to the investigation told Kaieteur News.
The source said that while they have spoken to several persons who were reportedly in the vicinity at the time of the shooting, they have so far been unable to get anything positive on the identities of the killers.
Investigators say they will be seeking the assistance of the Bank of Baroda, with respect to their cameras to come up with something that could point them in a positive direction.
It is not clear if the area is served by Closed Circuit Television cameras set up by the government to monitor activities in and around the city.
A few months ago at this year’s Police Officers’ Conference, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee had urged the greater us of CCTV footage from cameras around the city to identify criminals.
This was after an opposition Member of Parliament had raised concerns about the expenditure on the cameras, calling it a waste of taxpayers’ money.
His concerns were addressed by the Minister of Home Affairs who disclosed that he was informed by the Commissioner of Police that the cameras were successfully used in solving one major robbery in the city.
On Saturday night, several persons recalled seeing the policeman coming out from his patrol vehicle and approaching a car that had stopped at the traffic lights at the intersection of Regent Street and Avenue of the Republic.
They all recalled hearing several deafening explosions, followed by the sound of the car speeding away.
Seconds later, they saw the policeman lying motionless on the ground with blood pouring from a wound in his head.
“This is a busy area and there were several people out there when the shooting took place, and if up to now they (police) can’t get a trace of the car, then something is definitely wrong with our law enforcement when it comes to catching criminals,” a source with previous law enforcement experience stated.
Investigators also had the difficult task of managing the crime scene which may have been contaminated by the scores of persons who converged there after the shooting.
This newspaper had observed several spent shells at the scene and despite the presence of police ranks, little effort was made to secure them.
It was not until after hours had elapsed that moves were made to secure the area and retrieve the shells which were scattered all over the road.
Saturday night’s shooting of the policeman mirrors a number of execution style killings in the city where the perpetrators managed to elude capture and vanish into thin air.
For the ordinary ranks of the Guyana Police Force, Corporal Cleto’s death struck at the heart of their existence as lawmen.
It was a scary reminder of the days not so long ago when several of their colleagues were targeted for execution by criminal elements.
Police officials have been very tightlipped on the matter so far.
Except for a brief press statement and a few comments from one senior police officer, there has been nothing much said about the policeman’s death.
In fact, up to late last night no one from the Force’s hierarchy had visited the family of the slain cop.
When contacted by this newspaper yesterday, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee declined to comment.
“It is three o’clock on Sunday and I am relaxing with my grandchildren and I don’t want to be disturbed. I will comment on the matter tomorrow,” the Minister told this newspaper yesterday.
Meanwhile, Cleto’s two colleagues who were also injured in the shooting are recovering well.
Constable 21240 Randy Daly who was shot and injured in his left arm is resting comfortably at the Georgetown Hospital, while Constable 21144 Anil Persaud was treated and sent away on Saturday night.
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