Guard service appeals for witnesses to come forward By Gitanjali Singh
Stabroek News
August 23, 2002

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Professional Guard Service (PGS) is appealing to those who witnessed the murderous attack on its employee Michael Cumberbatch on Wednesday evening at his post at Bhagan’s Drug Store, Camp and Middle streets, to provide descriptions to the police force.

Cumberbatch, 46, of Lot 30 E North Sophia, Greater Georgetown was pronounced dead at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

His attacker entered the store at around 8 pm and Cumberbatch was reportedly trying to prevent him from robbing it. The man had arrived in a green car with two accomplices and was said to be wearing a dreadlocks wig.

It is believed that the bandits had hijacked the car which they used on Wednesday night, HA 9599, from Peter Simon. Cumberbatch’s reputed wife, Anita Sumner told Stabroek News yesterday she learned about the shooting one and a half hours after it occurred. “We just came in from church and heard the news.”

Summer did not go to the mortuary on Wednesday evening, but said she cried throughout the night. Summer is a member of the Jesus Deliverance Church. She is also a guard at PGS and said that her husband was a very dedicated worker and had always spent quality time with his two-year-old daughter Natifa.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of PGS, Dougal Kirkpatrick in a statement, said that at around 8 pm on Wednesday Cumberbatch, a supernumerary sergeant, was at the store when the bandit attacked, shot him twice in his chest and stole his revolver. He said several customers were in the store at the time as well as members of staff.

Kirkpatrick said that the staff did not see the attack as they were attending to customers, but one member observed a man wearing dreadlocks leave the store with Cumberbatch’s gun. According to the release, at this point, the members of staff lowered their heads and so did not see the shooter. The release confirmed that there was no theft apart from that of the firearm.

In addition, the release said that the drug store staff spoke highly of the professional way in which Cumberbatch always conducted himself. PGS has already extended sympathy to the family of Cumberbatch and are making arrangements for his funeral. PGS is also appealing to all customers who were in the store at the time to contact the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Guyana Police Force with a description of the murderer and his accomplices in an effort to bring the criminals to justice.

PGS thanked the CID officers who responded to the report, for the prompt, courteous and caring manner in which they conducted their investigation.

Cumberbatch was employed by PGS on March 30, 1988. He was promoted to armed sergeant on March 16, 1998. The slain guard was runner-up guard of the month in February 18, 1994 and guard of the month in January 1997 for nine years of unbroken service.