Bandits killed in shootout with cops
Policeman, robbery victim wounded
Stabroek News
September 16, 2001

Two men are dead and an off duty police sergeant and market stallholder are nursing gunshot wounds after an early morning armed robbery in Bourda spread to a bloody shoot-out in Lacytown yesterday.

According to a police press release issued yesterday morning, Dwayne Pearson of Howes Street, Charlestown, and an individual only known as 'Asha' were shot dead in confrontations with the off-duty sergeant and back-up police at around 6 am.

The incident began in Robb Street at around 5.45 am, where owner of Reality Groceries, Ian Williams, 35, had just finished serving a customer. According to his wife, Yvonne Munroe, 32, Williams turned on the television to catch the morning news but suddenly felt something behind him.

Two armed men had emerged from the alleyway separating Reality Groceries and the neighbouring stall. They forced Williams into the back of the shop and while one stripped him of jewellery and a cell phone, the second emptied the cash drawer of around $100,000.

According to Munroe, her husband was shot in the leg by one of his assailants before they made good their escape towards Lacytown. Munroe's 13-year-old nephew, who had been sheltering on the floor during the raid, then raised an alarm and a chase ensued.

Munroe stated that Williams was in a stable condition at Georgetown Public Hospital but will require surgery on his badly damaged leg.

According to the police press release, Sergeant 10973 Smith of "Target Base", was in the Bourda market area and responded to the alarm. He intercepted two individuals on South Road, at the corner of Camp Street, and identified himself as a plainclothes police officer.

The release stated that the two men opened fire on Smith and succeeded in hitting him in the abdomen. Not to be discouraged, Smith returned fire and fatally wounded one of the men, Pearson.

According to eyewitnesses, at the same time, a team from the Target Special Squad arrived on the scene and pursued the second individual along Camp Street and then along Charlotte Street to the intersection with Wellington Street. Smith was transferred to Prasad's Hospital, Georgetown, where he is currently receiving intensive treatment.

Although reluctant to talk, Lacytown residents explained that they were forced to leave their houses with the sound of shooting. One vendor said that she just ran and hid from the gunfire.

The second man, 'Asha', managed to find shelter at the back of some houses on the corner of Wellington and Charlotte Streets, but was cornered by the authorities.

One resident recalled that on hearing the commotion outside, he pulled his front door shut and lay on the floor.

The police release stated that "a party of policemen pursued the man who had escaped into a house in Charlotte Street and during an exchange of gunfire, he was fatally shot."

Firearms and ammunition were recovered from both individuals. 'Asha' had in his possession a .9 mm pistol, whilst Pearson had favoured a .32 revolver.

Munroe stated that the police had found a quantity of cash, a cell phone and jewellery on the persons of Pearson and 'Asha'.

Investigations are continuing.