Taxi driver killed in latest bandit attack
Guyana Chronicle
October 1, 2002

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ARMED bandits in a desperate run to flee from a robbery scene, last night shot a young taxi driver dead outside `Johnny P Supermarket', South Ruimveldt, Georgetown, then escaped in his car, seconds after they had robbed the business enterprise of an undisclosed amount of cash.

Dead is Gavin Joseph of 65 Durban Street, Lodge, Georgetown.

Reports said that Joseph, who had just gone into South Ruimveldt to drop off a passenger, was passing the supermarket when the four unmasked bandits, having just committed the robbery, opened fire on him.

The robbery took place around 20:00 hrs during a power outage which residents said started around 18:00 hrs.

Proprietor of the business, the popular Johnny Pires, who was at the gym working out at the time of the robbery, was summoned and hastened to the scene moments later.

Witnesses said that when the men entered the premises, they targeted mainly the Western Union Money Transfer centre, then wreaking havoc, robbed the cashier in the supermarket and everyone else on the premises.

They shot and destroyed the computers before escaping.

Scores of residents and passersby, who quickly converged at the scene as the bullet-riddled body of Joseph lay on the road, said they heard several shots ring out in the darkened night.

The bandits reportedly shot the driver several times, using a high powered weapon, then dragged him out of the car, and left him in a pool of blood on the road. Police on the scene quickly began diverting traffic as they sought to keep the area where the body lay clear.

Meantime, his cellular phone kept ringing in his pocket, but the Police would not touch it, nor would they allow anyone to.

After about 45 minutes, his wife whose name was given as Marquita, arrived on the scene, hysterical. She had just received the message.

Sobbing between fainting spells, Marquita said she had not long before spoken with him on the phone and was urging him to go home, but he assured her he would be home "just now".

According to her, he said he was just doing a drop off, but even as she repeated her words to him, there seemed to be a hidden fear.

Tearfully she repeated her words to him: "Joe come home, baby don't work, don't work."

Persons on the scene said the men may have arrived in the area on a regular passenger mini-bus.

The motorcar they fled in was reportedly a grey AE 192 Carina, licence plate HB 114, and Joseph worked with its owner.

Shortly after the bandits fled the scene there were reports that there was another shooting in Meadow Brook.

Witnesses said the Police were chasing a car, and when the vehicle was in the vicinity of Meadow Brook Drive it was obstructed by a mini-bus which was putting off passengers. In the frenzy, the men reportedly abandoned the car, shot at the Police and escaped on foot.

Up to press time they had not been captured, but Police towed the motorcar away.

Meanwhile, Police yesterday said that at about 20:30 hrs on Sunday, a 53-year-old resident of Eastville Housing Scheme, Annandale South, East Coast Demerara, was shot in the area of the throat by bandits.

Police said that according to reports, the victim was in his yard baking bread when three masked bandits pounced on him and demanded money.

On being told he did not have any money, one of the bandits, all of whom were armed, whipped out a pistol and shot the man, Police said. The bandits then fled.

The wounded man was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where emergency surgery was performed.

Police said his condition was reported stable yesterday.

A Police press release said there was an increased presence of Police and soldiers in the area.