Police were prevented from entering part of Leopold Street, Georgetown, yesterday after residents blocked the streets and burned tyres in retaliation to the killing of a robbery suspect , 35-year-old Orin Odinga Williams, who was shot by police at around 01:45 hours.
While there have been several accounts surrounding the death of Williams, Police are saying that they suspect that Williams was part of a group of men that held four persons at gunpoint at Hadfield Street, Georgetown ,and relieved them of their belongings.
Police said that four cellular phones, a quantity of cash and documents were taken from the victims. Police were informed and immediately went after the suspects who fled after the robbery.
According to the police, one of the suspects dismounted and pulled out a firearm in the vicinity of Norton and Bishop Streets, Werk-en-Rust, and discharged two rounds in the direction of the pursuing ranks, who returned fire with their service weapons. During the confrontation, one of the suspects (Williams) was wounded.
The injured man was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The other suspects subsequently escaped. One .38 revolver, one live round and two spent shells were recovered along with a quantity of cannabis, three cellular phones, a yellow metal chain, $10,900 and a backpack. Two of the phones were identified by the victim as theirs.
RELATIVES HAVE A DIFFERENT VERSION
On the other hand, relatives and residents had a different version of what transpired. They said that Williams was reportedly heading home to his girlfriend on his bike when he was confronted by two ranks of the Guyana Police Force who were said to be on a yellow motorcycle and dressed in their uniform.
The residents claim that Williams was initially shot in Norton Street, a short distance from his home. They claimed that the ranks called for “backup” and later took him to Princes Street and into the cemetery. They further claimed that persons in the area recalled hearing multiple gunshots.
They said Williams was not dead when they initially saw him, and according to them, he cried out for his girlfriend saying, “Carry me home to meh woman. Ah want Candacy,” after his pleas to be taken to the hospital went unheard by police.
He was then reportedly thrown into the back of a Police patrol vehicle and taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Meanwhile, when this publication arrived at the scene at the junction of Leopold and Breda Streets, it was blocked with a number of blue barrels and old refrigerators.
Proceeding further up Breda Street, there were a number of persons lining the street on both sides. At the intersection, the crowd doubled in size.
Loud music as well as gunshots were heard, and there was a lot of thick, black smoke emanating due to the burning of old tyres and garbage. A fire tender was dispatched to the scene along with several firemen. Attempts to put out the blaze were rendered futile, as angry residents hurled objects at the firefighters.
The front windshield and left side passenger window of the fire tender were shattered. Residents as well as relatives of the deceased were out in their numbers, some of them covered their faces leaving only their eyes exposed, to obviously conceal their identity. They were observed imbibing and playing very loud dancehall music, while voicing their dissatisfaction over the manner in which their friend was killed.
A sister of the dead man, who preferred not to be named, said that her brother had recently returned to Guyana as he was residing in Cayenne, French Guiana, for the past 15 years and “basically couldn’t be called a Guyanese.”
“They just shoot he up and take off all his things, we ain’t get back nothing,” she lamented. The woman said that her brother normally wears a lot of gold jewellery and he never goes anywhere without them. Other relatives as well as residents confirmed that this was the case, as he was a very “fashionable and flashy” individual.
The woman went on to say that they were not out there because they wanted to obstruct the peace, but were seeking justice for his “senseless killing.” She claimed that relatives were waiting at the hospital since around 01:45hrs after receiving news that her brother was shot. However, according to her, his lifeless body arrived at the hospital a few hours after.
Another sister of the dead man, identified as Omesha Murphy, claimed that her brother was shot and robbed of cash and his jewellery. She said that, “He was going home to his wife; they shoot he up and rob he. We gotta get justice for my brother’s death.
“He ain’t get a robbery charge, he ain’t get a murder charge, he ain’t known to no police…so I don’t know why they kill me brother,” a grieving Murphy lamented. A number of other persons expressed anger at the manner in which the police handled the matter.
Investigations are ongoing.
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