Bloody Essequibo attack Teens said to have confessed to crime Nine-year-old buried

By Leonard Gildarie
Stabroek News
September 13, 2000

As residents of Essequibo attempt to come to grips with Monday's shocking murder of a 9-year-old boy, the big question is what drove two teenagers to break into a home and mercilessly stab and beat two children.

Hundreds of residents thronged the New Road, Essequibo Coast home to express their sympathy with the family of Tiab Gafoor, 9, who was buried yesterday according to Muslim rites, one day after he was killed.

His little brother, 6-year-old Fawaaz is currently in the Georgetown Hospital, still in a critical condition after receiving a stab in the chest that went "through and through." A major surgery, this newspaper understands, was performed and the Prep B student of Charity Primary School is said to be in a "stable but still critical condition."

Two teenagers said to live in Somerset and Berks, two villages bordering New Road, are in custody and have reportedly confessed to the macabre crime. One of them had been charged and placed before the courts and on probation for breaking into the Gafoors' residence and stealing a quantity of cash last year.

During a visit to the Essequibo Coast yesterday, residents told Stabroek News they were shocked not only by the fact that a child has been killed, but that two "other children" had reportedly committed murder.

The mother of the two boys, a tearful 33-year-old Nafeeza, after the funeral yesterday, told Stabroek News that she left the two home on Monday, at about 0830 hrs, and went to the Charity Primary School to arrange for a transfer for both of them. At about 1130 hrs, she returned to the home, two miles from Charity and stood at the door calling for them. After calling for a while, she heard Fawaaz say that he "can't come."

The traumatised woman said that she thought the boy meant that the bolt on the door was too difficult for him to open. She said that she then called for Tiab and receiving no answer, she again shouted for the other brother.

The 6-year-old, in a faint voice, told his mother that he "got jukked up" and that Tiab was lying next to him. The woman said that she became alarmed and seeing the open kitchen window, climbed through it. The mother said that she was greeted by a scene in the sitting room area that she would never forget. Tiab was lying on the floor in a pool of blood while his sibling was next to him, moaning softly.

The mother said that she started screaming and neighbours and family rushed across and helped with carrying the wounded Fawaaz to the Charity Hospital. He was later air-dashed to the Georgetown Hospital.

Family members confirmed that an angry group of residents, after the grisly discovery, formed themselves into groups and started combing the area methodically. Some bloody clothing was discovered not far from the home and suspecting a teenager who someone said was seen wearing the same clothing, the residents went in search of him at his home. He was reportedly found hiding under a bridge. Residents stated that a knife taken from the Gafoors' kitchen which was used in the incident was taken away by investigators from the Charity Police Station. Also taken was a blood-coated door bar which had been used to beat the children.

According to Imran Gafoor, the 38-year-old father and a vendor at the Charity Market, his hospitalised son who had recovered enough to speak with him, had revealed that Tiab had been lashed several times in the head before he was stabbed. The little boy had witnessed some of the horror before he too was attacked and left for dead. The father said his older son's head had been smashed in several places and in addition to the three stab wounds visible on his body, there was one in each side making it a total of five stab wounds. It is believed that the intruder(s) may have planned to break into the home to steal. But they were surprised by the boys who they thought would have been in school. It is believed that one of the boys might have recognised one of the intruder(s) and they were therefore attacked.

It was generally agreed yesterday that Essequibo had not recently witnessed the likes of Monday's unspeakable horror. What made it more horrific was that two teenagers, one 14 and the other 15, had been accused of it and had reportedly confessed.

It was also disclosed that the two boys' only sister, 13-year-old Safia, celebrated her birthday yesterday, on the same day that her brother Tiab was buried.

Residents says that the two teenagers held were from broken homes.

Police sources yesterday indicated that investigations are continuing.

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