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Dead is Constable Quincy James, 18, of 108 Thomas Street, Kitty. James was the son of Leoni James of Antigua and Brentnol Mc Almont, a businessman of Georgetown and Essequibo Coast.
The shooting drama which started with the robbery on Gobin's Cambio instantaneously escalated into the gunning down of the young cop attempting to direct the traffic amidst chaos - heavy gunfire, jammed motor vehicles and wildly scampering pedestrians.
James who was shot 14 times in the region of the chest, slumped to the ground, and his limp body, bleeding profusely was quickly placed into a motor vehicle by a civic minded witness, and rushed to the Georgetown Hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
He elder sister, Monette, a nurse on duty at the Georgetown Hospital is still battling to recover from the shock she suffered on being told by a batch mate that her brother had just been brought into hospital dead. Amidst deep anguish, Monette managed to identify her brother's body, and incredibly endured the agony of counting the bullet wounds to his body.
Witnesses figured that the bandits involved in the robbery shot and killed the young cop since they perceived him to be an obstruction in their bid to escape.
But even as the wounded cop was being rushed to hospital, sources say, terror heightened in the city, since the car in which he was being transported was preceded by one of the two cars (a white and a burgundy) involved in the robbery, and closely followed by the other.
Witnesses said that one of the cars used by the bandits was in front of the one in which the bleeding man was, while the other was immediately behind it, with the occupants shooting wildly as the cars sped through the streets, en route to the Georgetown Hospital.
Meanwhile, up to late yesterday evening the men involved in the shootings and robberies had not been captured, and Deputy Commissioner, Law Enforcement, Mr. Winston Felix, on behalf of the Force, was appealing to the public for their co-operation. The law Enforcement official is asking any one with information at their disposal, which could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, and/or the recovery of stolen property to pass this on to the Police.
Addressing the media yesterday, Mr. Felix announced that the series of unfortunate incidents which disturbed the relative peace and quiet of Georgetown yesterday morning, started with a number of reported hijackings which led to the robbery of Gobin's Variety Store and Cambio, and the subsequent brutal shooting of Constable Quincy James on traffic patrol duty.
Describing yesterday's scene in downtown Georgetown, Felix confirmed that in the aftermath of the Cambio robbery, "there were indiscriminate shootings of buildings and parked vehicles in the vicinity. Also shot at were the Esso and Guy Oil Gas Stations, while citizens were generally terrorised. A Channa bomb was also thrown into a store nearby," he said.
Admitting that the bandits had escaped, Felix however, announced that the police and the Guyana Defence Force soldiers have mounted a joint exercise to capture them in the backlands of the sugar estate on the East Coast Demerara, between Plaisance and Lusignan/Annandale area.
Meanwhile, relatives and friends who work closely with the dead man's father, Brentnol Mc Almont, a vegetable vendor on Water Street, recalled that as the sounds of gunfire filled the air, it could not be determined just how far off the sounds were coming from. "People were running helter-skelter, diving for covers, all over the town, and we on Water Street were taking covers too," one man related.
He said that among them, diving for covers was the young cop's father, Brentnol, who had shortly before displayed his goods for sale. He recalled that in the midst of the furore, news came that a police traffic cop had been shot, and the description given, suited Brentnol's son who would regularly visit his father on Water Street.
The anxious father rushed to the hospital where his fears were confirmed.
And Monette, the lad's sister, painfully related that she and her two brothers Quincy (now dead) and Kempton had only about a month ago moved to their present home in Kitty, and were just beginning to prepare for the Christmas holidays.
Having hailed from Charity Amazon, Essequibo, Quincy attended Charity Secondary School and later, the Silver City Secondary School, Wismar. She said that his love for policing led him to leave school around age 16 to become a member of the force. He had served for just over a year and a half when his life was rudely snuffed out yesterday.
He leaves to mourn, his parents Brentnol and Leoni, siblings, Monette and Kempton, and other relatives. A post mortem is to be performed later.