…Leopold Street residents burn tyres, debris in protest
…damage fire truck; probe launched
Chaos erupted in Leopold Street, Georgetown on Wednesday after a suspected bandit was shot and killed by Police in the wee hours of the morning while hunting for two robbery suspects.
Dead is 35-year-old Orin Odinga Williams, a father of one of Leopold Street, Werk-en-Rust. He was killed about 01:45h on Wednesday in Norton Street, Wortmanville by ranks of the Stabroek Police Outpost, who had responded to a report of an alleged robbery in the area.
According to a statement from the Police, four persons were held at gunpoint at the corners of Hadfield and High Streets by three men and robbed them of four cell phones, an undisclosed amount of cash, and personal documents.
The victims reported the matter and in response, the Police proceeded in the direction in which the suspects fled. While in the vicinity of Norton and Bishop Streets, Wortmanville, the Police said one of the suspects dismounted his bicycle and drew a firearm from his waist before discharging two rounds in the direction of the ranks.
The statement added that the ranks “took evasive action” and returned fire from their service weapon, wounding one of the suspects. The injured man was taken to Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The other suspects made good their escape, the Police said.
A .38 revolver with its serial number filed out, along with one live round and two spent shells, a quantity of cannabis, three cellular phones, one yellow metal chain, $10, 900 and one backpack were recovered from the scene.
The Police said that two of the cell phones recovered have since been identified by two of the victims as their properties.
Later that morning, at approximately 09:00h, residents of Leopold Street, including family members of the now dead man, took to the streets in protest his killing and called for justice.
They blocked the corners of Leopold and Breda, and Durban and Breda streets with burning tyres and other debris on the roadways. Thick black smoke from the burning tyres could be seen from lengthy distances away.
Williams’ family is accusing the Police of allegedly lying about the circumstances surrounding the shooting and instead claimed that the ranks robbed the now dead man.
Speaking with the media, Omesha Murphy, the victim’s sister, related at the scene of the protest that her brother was shot and then robbed by Police.
“They got to bring back the gold and the money that them tek, everything we got to get back because we got we lawyer, we got we lawyer and we need them things back! He wife got to get them back! We need justice,” the woman cried out.
Another relative declared that “We have to get justice for he, he never do no crime, nothing he never do. Them kill he! Plus them rob he! We got to get everything back! Everything we got to get back, all the gold jewellery, and everything that them thief!”
Meanwhile, a Leopold Street resident told Guyana Times that she had just spoken to Williams prior to his killing.
According to the woman, Williams had indicated to her that he was making his way home to his wife, Cassandra Williams.
Fire tender damage
Meanwhile, the Police say that during the protest demonstrations, Fire Tender #93, under the command of Section Leader Watts and four other ranks of the Guyana Fire Service, responded to the scene at Leopold and Breda streets, and attempted to extinguish the fires. However, they were met with resistance from the protestors, who threw missiles at the fire truck, causing damages to the front windshield and left passenger window.
Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes, who is said to be Williams’ uncle, visited the family and spoke with the now dead man’s wife.
Further, the scene was visited by a party of Police ranks, headed by Assistant Commissioner Marlon Chapman, who spoke with the protestors in the presence of Attorney Hughes and assured them that a thorough investigation into the matter would be conducted.
This resulted in the residents extinguishing the fires and removing the debris at both locations. However, they warned of their readiness to continue protest actions until a proper investigation is carried out by Police.
This publication understands that Williams had recently moved back to Guyana from Cayenne, French Guiana, where he lived for many years.