Early last week a miner got shot and killed during a botched robbery. The ubiquitous nature of close circuit television brought the act to just about everyone who has a smart phone.
I got a call about a shootout early Monday morning and immediately raced to contact a reporter to get the story. I was late; the reporter had already been informed because someone called the newspaper. He went to the hospital where he met some relatives of the miner so I can only assume that even he thought that he had got the information in a timely manner, he was late.
But then again, he had gone to the scene earlier perhaps to get firsthand information of what happened. But even as he was trying his best to get information someone had posted the image on social media. I got my video from a reporter in Berbice.
Just about every location has security cameras. Private homes make them a part of their security in the same way many homes erect grills around doors and windows.
The video was graphic. I saw the miner and his driver arrive at the location in Da Silva Street, Newtown. I never understand why people say Newtown, Kitty. They are two different locations. Perhaps it is because there are two Newtowns in the city.
One of them accommodates America Street and the other borders Kitty so to differentiate people say Newtown near to Kitty.
Anyhow, a car followed closely behind the miner and two men got out of the second car and ran toward the miner’s vehicle. The attack appeared to be planned because the two men went to different sides of the miner’s car.
To his credit the miner managed to reach for his firearm and shoot at his attacker even as he himself was shot. The video captures the shot attacker falling under the weight of a bullet, not once, but twice.
Seriously hurt, he ran to the getaway vehicle and escaped.
A short while later news came that a dead soldier was found in Tucville. He had been shot so immediately people concluded that he was the miner’s attacker who had been shot. The police say otherwise but there are people who insist that the dead soldier had attacked the miner.
The police were quick to report that the dead soldier had been shot because of another altercation and that he had two bullet wounds. They also said that they had apprehended a suspect. This piece of information did precious little to change the belief of some people.
The post mortem performed on Thursday revealed that the soldier had been shot once in the back, the bullet entering under his right shoulder blade and exiting above his left breast.
Even here there is little information from the police who are often quick to post information about unnatural deaths.
I later learnt that there were a number of arrests in the wake of the miner’s killing. First, there was the report that a car with a bullet hole in the rear windscreen had been abandoned and a man suspected to be the driver arrested. That was quick work.
Soon after, I learnt that a doctor had been arrested for treating a wounded person without reporting the information. This suggested that there are medical personnel involved in criminal enterprise.
I remember a nurse treating a man who was shot during a home invasion. I do not recall any action after her arrest. There were no reports of her being charged with any offence.
I know that there are cameras all over the city. I would like to believe that these cameras spotted the car leaving Da Silva Street. The cameras should have seen the car leaving the city, at least going past Agricola. There are no reports of the involvement of these cameras.
Usually, the police would hold a press conference to report on the progress they are making in pursuit of criminals. There has been no press conference. And this is not helping the situation.
One surprising development was that a man suspected of being the prime suspect surrendered himself to the police. I do not know who informed him that he was a person of interest to the police. Again the police are silent.
Given that the law stipulates that a suspect cannot be held for more than seventy-two hours unless an extension is granted by the courts then I expect to see people appearing in court this week.
At this point I must note the preponderance of guns in the hands of people who are not licensed to carry them. Just two days ago the police reported that they stopped a car and found another unlicensed gun with five matching rounds. A woman was reported to be in the car and she is in custody.
What about the suspect whom the police said shot the soldier? Have they recovered a gun? They have been advised to return to the scene to locate a spent shell. I am not aware that they have done so as yet.
A Berbice farmer was shot to death in his home. The weapon had to be unlicensed. Also this past week a number of households in the eastern part of the country were attacked by gun-toting men.
I remember just recently when the police killed three notorious men in Black Bush Polder. They had been accused of a number of heinous crimes in Berbice. It was reported that a police rank was in touch with these men.
I would be interested in the conversation he had with them and how much they told him about their escapades. I am not aware of any action against this police rank.
Anyhow, when these three men were killed Berbice breathed a sigh of relief. For many, the nightmare was over. Now another group has sprung up.
The question now is whether there are young men just waiting to become involved in criminal enterprise. The excuse cannot be that there is no work. I see the advertisements seeking just about every legal skill, even labourers.
Are parents failing their children? Are they complicit in criminal enterprise?
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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