Cambridge was wanted for seven murders - police
June 8, 2002
Articles on crime
Compton Cambridge, the man who died in a shoot-out at Nabaclis on Thursday, was wanted in connection with seven murders including those of four cops and the house he was found in contained bulletproof vests and ammunition, police said yesterday.
Cambridge known as `Nand' died at the home of his paramour in Nabaclis, East Coast Demerara at around 3:30 pm on Thursday during a shoot-out between himself, three accomplices and ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). The police later said that the three other bandits escaped unhurt westward through the backyard of the Lot 27 Section (C) Nabaclis location.
In the press release yesterday the GPF said that a search of the house in which Cambridge and the men were holed up revealed two bulletproof vests, 14.9 mm Luger spent shells, four live 12 gauge cartridges, four 7.62 X 39 mm spent shells, four 7.62 warheads, two 9 mm warheads and a black pouch containing 20 7.62 X 51 mm rounds.
Among the murders which Cambridge was wanted for according to the police release are those of Detective Sergeant, Harry Kooseram, Ramdeo and Sita Persaud of Annandale, the murder of constable, Sherwin Alleyne at Coldingen and three counts of attempted murder of three other ranks who were shot that night. He was also linked to the murder of Ramnauth Persaud of Commerce House Cambio on Regent Street last Saturday and the attempted murder of Kennard Gobin and the murder of police constable Andy Atwell at Alberttown Police Station last week Thursday. The release also said he was the one who attempted to murder police ranks who were on a mobile patrol along Buxton Public Road and attempted similar acts on a couple at Brusche Dam, Friendship, ECD. He was also wanted for a series of robberies in Georgetown and along the ECD.
The release also stated that the white car with registration #PHH 717 in which the bandits were allegedly seen earlier and which was subsequently parked in front of the house was found abandoned about 200 yards south east of the scene of Cambridge's death.
But residents of Nabaclis told this newspaper yesterday that the car was at no time parked in front of the house but was always at the location where the police claimed that it was abandoned. According to the police release, the car was stolen from Cuthbert Europe, a former policeman on May 30. The car number was then #PGG 7801. The police said that the bottom portion of the car was sprayed over by the bandits. The recent crime spree has been characterised by a rash of car hijackings.
Meanwhile, a visit to the area yesterday by this newspaper saw some residents still maintaining that Cambridge was not wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of his death, as alleged by the police. They also said that contrary to the police version, Cambridge was shot outside of the house, a few yards away from the back steps while trying to flee the area.
A person who claimed to be an eyewitness to the shoot-out said that around 3:10 pm on Thursday, a police vehicle with three ranks entered the village and on approaching the railway embankment the vehicle halted and one of the ranks disembarked the vehicle and interrogated a young man on where "the bandits were hiding". The police had said in their press release that there was a police patrol in the area prior to the shoot-out.
The eyewitness said that the police vehicle then approached the house in question and as soon as they arrived the policemen let loose a series of gunshots at the house at which time the men returned fire. This exchange lasted for more than 20 minutes before the men in the house stopped shooting. It was also clarified that the 14-year-old girl, Natasha DeFreitas, was shot during this period but she was sleeping in her house next door and a stray bullet accidentally got through her bedroom window and grazed her left shoulder. Visible to this newspaper yesterday were the many bullet holes on the 14-year-old's bedroom window and her father who was not home at the time of incident said that it was he who took the child to the hospital and not the police as was reported by a media house.
The eyewitness continued that when the men stopped shooting in the house the three policemen entered the yard and when they got in the bandits escaped through the back door. She said three of them made their getaway through the back and Cambridge was shot twice not too far from the back step, once to the face and then on his chest. On the day of the incident Stabroek News was told that Cambridge was shot under a wooden bench where there was a large pool of blood and signs of a bloodied body being dragged. The witness said that the large pool of blood might have come from one of the other three who was injured in the firefight with police. "I know it wasn't `Nand' because I saw him lying just a little way from the back step," the witness maintained.
The amount of blood that was seen on the ground raises the question as to how that person escaped after bleeding so profusely. The witness said that two of the officers went after the three bandits who escaped and the third who was close to Cambridge's body dragged him upstairs and propped him up near to a refrigerator. The witness maintained that at this time Cambridge was wearing a short denim pants, a blue vest and a pink jersey over it. According to the resident, after that, the police officer along with the two who had chased in vain behind the three bandits got back into their vehicle and left the scene.
However, a reliable police source told this newspaper yesterday that the police did not leave the scene un-manned. When questioned as to how the photograph of the dead man appeared in Kaieteur News yesterday, the source said that the commander of that division had reported that no media operative was allowed into the home during the time the body was there. The eyewitness, however, told Stabroek News that she saw when the photographer from the media house showed his identification to one of the ranks and was allowed in.
When further questioned about the length of time Cambridge's body was left in the home before it was removed, the police source said that the police had to wait until employees of the funeral home arrived on the scene. It was pointed out to the source that usually the police ranks would take the person to the hospital where he would have been pronounced dead, however, this was not done in the case of Cambridge. The source said that this is done in cases where there were signs of life.
During the period when police ranks allegedly departed the scene, residents and close relatives went into the house and observed the body propped up by a refrigerator. Further, Stabroek News understands from the witness that they took careful note of Cambridge's body then and he was not wearing any bulletproof vest as the police claimed. The eyewitness contended that, the police returned to the scene about 20 minutes after and chased the residents away from the scene. She alleged that it was at this point they put on the bulletproof vest on Cambridge and waited some two hours before a hearse from the Newburg Funeral Parlour came and removed the body.
A resident confirmed that Cambridge was a regular visitor to the area and the car #PHH 717 was seen there before.