Businessman shot in neck
During foiled robbery on snackette

Stabroek News
June 13, 2000

A West Bank Demerara snackette owner has been hospitalised with a gunshot wound to the neck inflicted by masked bandits on Sunday night during a foiled robbery bid.

The injured man, Subhas Chand called 'Birdie', 46, of 79 Third Street, Patentia West, is also a security guard at the Wales Sugar Estate, West Bank Demerara.

Chand told Stabroek News from his hospital bed yesterday that the incident occurred some time after 2300 hrs on Sunday while he was on his way to an outdoor toilet, not far from his snackette. At the time he was clad only in his underwear.

He said that a masked man brandishing a gun and dressed in a white shirt and black trousers suddenly appeared in front of him. The masked man said nothing but just pointed the gun threateningly at him and without thinking, Chand said, he grabbed the man's gun hand and he and the man started struggling. The intruder managed to free his hand, Chand said, and he fell to the ground after he was pistol-whipped across the right cheek with the gun.

Still pointing the weapon at him, his armed attacker then made urgent gestures to the fence and Chand said he then noticed two other figures, both masked and dressed in dark clothing. However, the injured security guard/businessman related, they did not enter the yard as by this time he had started to shout for help.

The first intruder who had the gun trained on him, then placed it to the right side of Chand's neck and pulled the trigger. "I heard a loud noise and [felt] a numbing pain, then the warmth of the blood running down," Chand recounted. He said that the intruders then fled in the direction of a burial ground which was directly behind the roadside snackette.

Chand, a father of two, said that still reeling from the after-shock of the gunshot wounds, he managed to return to his snackette and lock the door. He then struggled across the road to the home of his sister-in-law, where he told her husband Eric Sukdeo what had transpired. The police from the Wales station, who were summoned, responded quickly. The injured businessman said that he was rushed in Sukdeo's car to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was admitted. Chand disclosed that he later learnt that the bullet had entered the right side of his neck and exited on the opposite side.

Chand said that he would normally sleep at the snackette as it was located some distance away from his home. Whenever he had to work the night shift at the estate, his wife, Vidya, would sleep there. The snackette, in addition to catering to students of a nearby school, also stocks groceries.

Sukdeo, relating the events, that he was watching television when he heard a loud bang. It was a little after 2300 hrs. He was pondering whether he should open his front door to investigate or go upstairs when his wife called out to him. Feeling safe that another person was awake, he opened the door and saw Chand at the gate. He was bleeding. "He tell me he get shot. I ran out to the gate and when I see he condition, I ran back inside and get a shirt and put it where the blood was coming out from and try to get the blood away from he body.

"He told me that it was three persons and they did not get to take anything since he fight wid them a lot."

Sukhdeo mentioned that he was unable to render much assistance since he had recently had surgery. The police, he said, arrived on the scene within a few minutes and he told them what had happened.

Eric's wife Jenny Boodnarine, said she also heard a loud bang, followed by "a man crying out, ...Oh God somebody come help me nah." Boodnarine realised that the sounds were coming from the direction of her brother-in-law's snackette when she opened her window. She said that she then ran downstairs and helped her husband to lift Chand into the yard, then telephoned her sister, who was sleeping at their mother's to take him to the hospital.

Vidya told Stabroek News that when she saw her husband: "His skin was soaked in blood and he de bleeding bad... I ask he how he doing but he din say anything much."

She speculated that the bandits were possibly from the area because of the manner in which they operated. She added that her husband had been advised to dismantle the bridge leading from the burial ground to the snackette because it was unsafe. The bridge was torn down on Sunday. The snackette had only been in operation three years now, Vidya said.

Neighbours have expressed shock at the manner in which Chand was shot.

A police source yesterday indicated that investigations were "continuing with several leads being checked out."

Follow the goings-on in Guyana
in Guyana Today