The rope finally ran out on fugitive cop turned bandit, Warren Anthony Blue, when he and an accomplice
were shot dead by his former colleagues during a robbery on a Montrose, East Coast Demerara supermarket last night.
Blue, who disappeared two years ago before he could appear in court to answer a murder charge relating to the death of Agricola youth, Shaquille Grant, was killed while fleeing the scene. His accomplice whose name was given as “Chiney” was killed inside the business place.
This was after they had shot the proprietor of the Lahago Supercenter, Latchmie Baburam, 52, and robbing the establishment of an undisclosed amount of cash.
The woman is receiving treatment at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
Police officials at the scene declined to give details of the operation.
However, a police press release stated that at about 19:00 hours yesterday, two men armed with a firearm entered the Lahago General Store and held up the owner, Latchmie Baburam.
The perpetrators took away $140,000 after shooting and wounding her to her foot.
The police said that public-spirited members of the community and police ranks who responded quickly to the report confronted the perpetrators. During an armed confrontation the two suspects were fatally shot.
“Two unlicensed .32 Taurus pistols with five rounds were recovered by the police along with a number of .32 spent shells. One of the suspects has been identified as Warren Blue while the other man of East Indian descent is so far unidentified,” the police statement said.
Amupia Baburam, the daughter of the store’s proprietor, told this newspaper that around 18:45 hours she was in the premises located on the Montrose Public Road with her mother when two armed men barged in and held them up.
She said that the men demanded their cash and when her mother hesitated, one of the men began to beat her before shooting her in her right thigh.
“They were gonna shoot me too but I opened the safe and they took whatever was inside and they left.”
The young lady said that as the bandits were leaving, one of them discharged several rounds to make good his escape.
He did not cater for the presence of a Rural Constable and a passing police patrol.
“There was an RC in the area; they started firing shots at vehicles on the road. The police came out at the same time and they shot them,” Amupia Baburam stated.
According to eyewitnesses, the police patrol, led by Corporal Brentnol Solomon, first confronted Blue, who was wearing dark coloured clothing and black gloves, as he left the business place.
“De men were just coming out firing shots and de police give dem a tackle and dat is how de fuss one get he faces buss up with a shotgun,” the eyewitness stated.
The other bandit, meanwhile, ran back into the business place and tried to hide.
By now other police ranks as well as private security personnel had converged on the scene and had surrounded the building to prevent his escape.
While all of this was taking place, the injured woman was picked up and placed into a car and rushed to the GPHC, while Blue’s body was placed in a police van and taken away from the scene.
When this newspaper arrived on the scene, the lawmen and private security personnel were engaging the bandit who had secreted himself on the premises.
Traffic slowed significantly as passing motorists tried to ascertain what was taking place after hearing sporadic gunshots.
At first police thought that the remaining bandit had gotten away.
However, the lawmen eventually located him hiding behind a stack of bottles and during an exchange of gunfire, he was killed.
“De man (Blue) had a full clip, but he de almost done because he was firing shots all de time,” the eyewitness stated.
At the hospital, dozens of people flocked the police vehicle that brought the dead men, just to get a glimpse of their bloodied faces.
The two men’s death was a victory for the police on East Coast Demerara who vowed that they will ensure that the area remains crime free for the Christmas season.
However, Blue’s involvement in the robbery came as a surprise to his former colleagues.
“Blue had to be doing crime since he was a police. Interdiction can’t turn you into a bandit just like that,” one of his colleagues stated.
Meanwhile, the proprietor’s husband, Haymatt Baburam, told this newspaper that last night’s robbery was the seventh that the establishment had suffered.
He said that the last time the store was robbed was the week before Diwali when bandits made off with over $300,000. The incident was captured on CCTV.
“They beat my wife and she got 11 stitches in her head. She hasn’t even fully recovered from that attack and now this one. This thing happening too often,” Mr. Baburam said.
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