Cops seek information into McKinnon killing, fire

Stabroek News
April 15, 2001

The police will treat with "strict confidentiality" anyone having information which could assist the police in their investigation into the shooting to death of Water Street vendor Donna McKinnon as well as the fire which gutted several properties on Regent and Robb streets in Lacytown on Monday.

A release the police issued on Wednesday but which Stabroek News received on Thursday said that anyone with information should call telephone numbers 226-8869, 225-3650, 226-1326, 226-1389, 226-7476, 225-2317, 225-3052, 226-2069, 225-2200 or 225-6411.

The police release said the information was needed to assist the police "in their investigations into the alleged fatal shooting of a woman whose body was discovered at the corner of Robb and Wellington streets Monday night."

The same evening that McKinnon, 43, of Lot 3 Tucville, was shot dead, another person, Ramnarine Bhoda of 177 Waterloo Street was injured by a gunshot. He is currently in the Georgetown Public Hospital. The two were reportedly shot as they dashed for cover after the police fired shots in the air to disperse a crowd which had gathered at the corner of Robb and Wellington streets to see the fire that gutted Kissoon's Furniture City and a number of other businesses and offices in the area. There are reports that apart from the police, someone had been seen shooting with a handgun from Freedom House, PPP/Civic headquarters.

Three daughters of McKinnon, Shaundelle, Simone and Soffina Solomon told Stabroek News that their mother's body underwent a post mortem examination on Wednesday but they were not allowed to witness it. The girls said they had been told initially that the post mortem would have been done on Tuesday but on Tuesday the police told them that it would be done the following day instead. They had been told to be at the Georgetown Hospital Mortuary to identify the body for 7:00 am. However, they said that in spite of assurances given to them by the police and the hospital authorities that the body was not going to be moved from the mortuary without their knowledge, when they arrived on Wednesday morning the body was not there.

They girls said that they waited until around 9:00 am when a vehicle drove up with the body. No one told them where it had been taken. They were shown only a portion of their mother's face, above the nose, by which they identified her body. The girls said they were then told that the body would be cut at the hospital mortuary and told to wait. They said that after a few minutes, they were told that their mother had died of shock and hemorrhage caused by a gunshot wound.

They said the police told them that no bullet was found in her body but a spent shell and a warhead were found on the lawns where her body fell when she was shot. She was shot in the head, the chest and the right leg.

The girls, who are calling for justice for their mother, said that even though their mother was injured "outside Freedom House or in the vicinity of Freedom House", neither President Bharrat Jagdeo nor any member of his Cabinet had offered a word of condolence.

The girls said that the President visited the burnt out sites of businesses and offered businessmen assistance, but their mother had lost her life and he had not offered the bereaved any help. They noted that their mother had left two minors, Shwina and Shennella Chesney, aged 15.