Police confirm Fraser was shot dead from bushes
Guyana Chronicle
April 5, 2002

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POLICE yesterday confirmed that well-known anti-crime fighter, Superintendent Leon Fraser was shot dead as he and other cops closed in Tuesday afternoon on a car partly hidden in a clump of bushes at Yarowkabra on the Linden/Soesdyke highway.

In a press release yesterday, Police Headquarters said that based on intelligence reports, the 42-year-old officer was in a 12-member party that had gone to a point in the area, five miles off the highway.

There they saw a car, partly hidden, by a clump of bushes, and a tent some distance off, Police said.

"The party of men moved into a special formation and divided into two groups. One group proceeded to the tent, while the other led by Superintendent Fraser, approached the car", the release said.

It added: "There was a hail of bullets, from the car, and Superintendent Fraser was fatally shot. The policemen took cover and returned fire.

"They called for reinforcements and other ranks were dispatched to the area from several other bases.

"The search (for the killers) began immediately and intensified upon the arrival of the reinforcements", the Police press release said.

Police also confirmed in the statement that the car hidden in the bushes was the station wagon hijacked from a Canadian couple in the city around midnight Monday.

According to Police, scientific tests have so far shown that at least one of the five criminals who escaped from the Georgetown Prison on February 23 last, had been in the hijacked car.

Police said they were continuing "a vigorous and aggressive hunt" for the killer gang with support from other Joint Services agencies.

Other agencies in the Joint Services, including the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), have joined the Police in the round-the-clock hunt for the gang.

Fraser, shot in the head, was the second murder victim of the gang which also killed Prison Officer Troy Williams, 21, when it broke out of the Georgetown Prison. One of the five also shot Woman Prison Officer, Roxanne Whinfield, 36, in the head as they fled and she remains critically wounded in the Georgetown Hospital.

Crime prevention activities on the East Bank and East Coast highways have been stepped up also, the Police said.

"The Force has intensified its activities, paying critical attention to likely escape routes, with enhanced ground and air support", Police said Wednesday.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon expressed outrage Wednesday at the killing and said that all the agencies in the Joint Services were assisting the Police in the hunt for the bandits.

"...this additional insult to the law, insult to the dignity of the Police Force, this utterly lawless act" would be the occasion for a heightened commitment by the law enforcement agencies and the Government, he told reporters.

Since the jailbreak the gang was linked to several daring car hijackings and robberies in and around the city.

The abandoned vehicle the Police party was approaching was the third the men were believed to have hijacked that night, starting with the car of Army Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Christine King.

Her car was hijacked by four men at around 20:40 hrs Monday at Anira Street, Queenstown, Georgetown.

The men terrorised King and her cousin in their quest to get the keys to her car.

They took off without hurting the two, and abandoned the car at Buxton, where they reportedly hijacked a Mark 11 car.

That was abandoned later that night in the city when they pounced on the Canadians.

They took off in the station wagon with the couple's computer, cameras and a pair of binoculars, but not before dealing them several blows in the face and head.

The Police Force is offering at least $2.5M for information that could lead to the arrest of the five escapees. Police headquarters said there was a reward of at least $500,000 on the head of each of the five prisoners who fled the Georgetown Prison.

Those on the run are Andrew Douglas, Mark Fraser, Shawn Brown, Troy Dick and Dale Moore, all linked to the notorious `Blackie' criminal gang.

The `Blackie' ring was led by Linden `Blackie' London who was shot dead when he was cornered in a Police-Army operation in an Eccles, East Bank Demerara guest house in February 1999.

Fraser was involved in that operation and several other battles with criminals.