Two bullet wounds found
No evidence he fired gun
Stabroek News
April 13, 2002

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A post-mortem examination carried out on the body of slain Buxtonian Shaka Blair yesterday revealed two bullet wounds to the left side of his chest, while forensic tests on his hands showed no evidence of him having fired a weapon.

The official cause of death has been stated as haemorrhage and shock resulting from his wounds, suggesting that the deceased bled profusely. The two bullets he took were said to have caused damage to his lungs and kidney, injuries from which he would have likely died.

The cause of death was confirmed in a press release from the Police Public Relations office yesterday.

The autopsy was performed by government pathologist, Dr Nehaul Singh and observed by Dr Edward Simon, a private pathologist, at the request of the deceased's reputed wife Simi 'Susan' Ragnauth and other relatives. Sources say microscopic iron testing of the deceased's fingers was conducted to see whether gunpowder residue was evident on them. These tests, on both hands, unearthed no evidence consistent with the firing of a weapon as claimed by the police. Shortly after Blair was killed, the police issued a release which stated that he had fired on officers prior to being fatally wounded by them.

Blair's body, clad only in a pair of underpants, was initially identified by Ragnauth, who along with Blair's brother and attorney-at-Law, Raphael Trotman, was on hand for the procedure.

According to Trotman, the fact that the body was not clothed was seen by Dr Simon as unhelpful in yielding the most accurate finding in terms of forensic pathology, as it was necessary for the body to be in the state it was at the time of death.

The post-mortem, Trotman said, revealed that there were two entry wounds. Investigations unearthed no points of exit, nor were any warheads found. A thorough search of the body, almost to Blair's back, was made in an effort to recover the two warheads which pierced his left chest, but this was in vain.

An official report on his observations are expected to be submitted by Dr Simon next week, while the report of the government's pathologist is also expected to be tendered to government soon.

According to Trotman, he expects the government, once in receipt of the report, to immediately honour its word to undertake a speedy investigation as Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj had assured Blair's relatives when they met him early in the week following a picketing exercise outside his Brickdam office.

He further stated that the minister had given relatives a commitment of two weeks for the investigation to be completed, which he hoped would be kept.

According to Trotman no stone would be left unturned in ensuring that the matter was fully investigated. Blair is to be buried on Monday in his village of Buxton after a funeral service. (Oscar P. Clarke.)