Aug 07, 2020 News
– doctors say other victim could remain paralyzed for life
By Shervin Belgrave
Thirty-nine-year old Cecil Sampat, one of the unarmed men who were shot by police ranks 11 days ago, died yesterday at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Doctors also confirmed that the other unarmed victims who was shot, 28-year-old Winston Frazer, will mostly likely be unable to walk for the rest of his life.
According to information reaching this publication, Sampat passed away some time after 14:00hrs.
Kaieteur News was told that, at the time of his death, doctors had not yet retrieved the three bullets that were lodged in his body. In fact this publication was able to confirm that minutes before he passed away, yet another CT scan was conducted to assess Sampat’s condition and readiness for surgery.
Meanwhile, Frazer is said to be faced with a life and death situation. Doctors, this publication learnt, told him that with or without surgery he will remain paralyzed for life. This is due to the fact that when he was shot a bullet severed different sections of his spinal cord leaving multiple bullet fragments within its column.
Moreover, doctors have reportedly told the man that if he chooses not to go through with surgery he will survive but will have to depend on pain killers. Added to this, there is a possibility that he could also develop other health complications later.
Should he choose the option of surgery, doctors have advised that there is a 50 percent chance of survival. Should he survive, the man was told that he will live without pain but if any fluid leaks from his spine during surgery, then he will die. Frazer has been given a day to decide his choice and to mourn the loss of his friend.
The two men were shot at around 02:00hrs on Saturday July 25, while heading home in a car which was being driven by Frazer.The men and two other friends were traced by ranks from Agricola, East Bank Demerara (EBD) to D’Urban Street and then Mandela Avenue where police officers riddled their car with bullets.
Kaieteur News had reported that both Sampat and Frazer received gunshot wounds to the back which damaged vital organs in their body.
According to Sampat’s sister, he received damage to both lungs and was dependent on an oxygen machine to help him breathe. To make matters worse, the bullets were lodged in his body causing him to suffer intense pain daily.
His sister recalled that despite excruciating pain, he fought each day to stay alive. She revealed that the medical team did a lot of work to keep him alive but after 11 days of a painful battle, he took his last breath.
What is even more difficult for his sister to stomach, is the continuous silence of the Guyana Police Force as it relates to the investigation of ranks responsible for the death of her brother.
Kaieteur News was told by police sources that more than a dozen officers were in custody. It was later revealed that only three out of that group are under close arrest.
According to a source, none of the ranks have admitted to shooting the men. Reports, however, suggest that investigators were able to identify the alleged shooters from video footage of the incident. It was also revealed that as part of protocol the guns used by the ranks were sent for ballistic testing. This was almost a week ago.
A source close to the investigation said, that ranks involved had accused the men of shooting at them first. The source also made it known that no guns were found in the men’s possession and investigators were unable to corroborate their statements using the footage obtained.
One of the occupants of the car, Seon Greenidge, who escaped unhurt, had revealed that he and his friends realized that they were being followed by police when they were at Houston, EBD. Greenidge had told Kaieteur News that he could not speak on Frazer’s behalf as to why he did not stop the car. He, however, speculated that it might have been because they were under the influence of alcohol and breaching the COVID-19 restrictions. He also claimed that the officers had gun-butted and kicked all of them before taking the injured Frazer and Sampat to the hospital.
Sampat’s sister, through her attorney, had also written to Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, who recently proceeded on pre-retirement leave. Letters were also sent to the outgoing Commander of ‘A’ Division, Phillip Azore, and the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) requesting a thorough investigation into the matter.
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