Detectives investigating last Thursday’s brazen murder of 18-year-old Ashmini Hariram are said to be following leads that are increasingly pointing to her being the wrong target of an execution-style killing.
This information reportedly suggests that Hariram’s killer mistook her for another individual who also resided at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara.
Kaieteur News has confirmed that police yesterday detained an East Coast Demerara resident who some sources described as a known gunman and who reportedly fits the description of the man who shot Hariram.
They also impounded a burgundy-coloured car that the suspect had reportedly driven as recently as last Thursday. Kaieteur News understands that the man in custody says that he lately exchanged the vehicle for a newer model.
Hariram, a cosmetologist, was shot in the head by a gunman who snatched her $8,000 cell phone while she was walking to her Lusignan Railway Embankment home with a cousin.
Police had initially suggested that the motive was robbery and that the case was similar to the murder of bank teller Sheema Mangar, who was run over by a car, after one of the occupants had snatched her phone.
At the time, investigators had also said that they had found nothing in the 18-year-old’s background to suggest that she could be the victim of a hit. Hariram’s close relatives also described her as “a pleasant person” who was loved in her community.
Ashmini Hariram was walking with a female cousin when she was shot and the cousin alleged that the gunman and driver had waited in a parked car along the same route that the cousins had to pass.
Fiona Somwaroo, the cousin, said Hariram was about to enter a shop when the gunman exited the car and grabbed Hariram’s ‘Icemobile’ phone.
She said that the gunman, whom she did not recognize, then shot the cosmetologist before escaping in the car. According to Somwaroo, the gunman had not spoken to Hariram and had made no attempt to relieve the teen of a gold chain she was wearing at the time.
Police recovered a .32 warhead and a bullet casing of similar calibre from the scene. Kaieteur News understands that an eyewitness described the killer as being tall and fair in complexion.
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