Couple shot, injured while defending home from bandits By Oscar P. Clarke
Stabroek News
September 11, 2002

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A pregnant woman was shot in her hip early yesterday morning when a group of bandits attempted to break into her Yarrow Dam home in Ruimveldt, Georgetown.

Sonia Ragbar, 29, who is pregnant with her fourth child, sustained the injury as she repeatedly kicked one of the gunmen out her upper flat bedroom window. Also injured in the botched robbery was the woman's husband, 34-year-old Doodnauth Ragbar. He was shot twice in his left thigh.

A relative of the couple holds up the mosquito net through which a bullet passed when the gunmen fired on the Ragbars while attempting to enter their home. (Ken Moore photo)

Stabroek News yesterday found the couple being comforted by relatives and friends. Relating the early morning incident, the man said he was awakened by a noise caused by a man attempting to climb into his bedroom through an open window.

He immediately leapt into action and attempted to snatch the man, while reaching for a bottle that was on the bedhead behind him.

Ragbar said it was while attempting to grab the bottle that the gunman fired two shots. One hit him in his thigh, while the other missed.

"I snatch he then I decide fuh loose fuh snatch the bottle because he hang up deh so. I didn't know he had a gun in he hand, so then he loose off and with one hand on the window frame [he fired the shots]," related Ragbar.

His wife, Sonia, who was asleep, awoke and immediately began kicking the intruder. She was shot in the process.

Ragbar said there seemed to have been three men, two of whom remained in the yard, while the third tried entering the house.

"Meh wife wake up.... She thinking now that I get nightmare. She think I hollering out in me sleep. When she wake up now and see the man, she snatch the man. I don't know if is pon the bed she get shot or if is when she get up and snatch the fan or run back to he," Ragbar said.

The next thing he knew, his wife was screaming, "Oh God! I get shoot."

According to Sonia, she immediately confronted the intruder after he had shot her husband. Initially she had thought Ragbar was having a bad dream, until she heard someone saying that he would "finish him off". That caused her to aim several kicks in the gunman's direction.

"All I see he [her husband] fall on the bed. I spin around and see a spark by the window, because the house was in darkness, you couldn't see anything. I could not recognise anyone at the window because the place was very dark, so when I see the spark from the gun, I didn't realise that I did get hit. I just head towards the window and I start kick like if I mad. I kick he straight through the window back and he didn't get to come in," related Sonia Ragbar. At the time of the interview, she was resting on a pile of pillows, while relatives attended to her.

"After he fell, he was heard to comment, `I gun finish all y'all mother s.... here'," Sonia said as she grimaced in pain.

Though injured, at this threat, the woman said, she scrambled in the darkness and retrieved a "big pan" in preparation for another confrontation with the gunmen. However, the men left the yard. They fired several more shots in the air and calmly headed in an eastern direction, further into Yarrow Dam.

According to Sonia, the bandit who was attempting to enter the window had a small gun, while the others carried long ones. She was positive that the motive was robbery. The Ragbars run a small business.

The couple's three children, who were in another bedroom, heard the gunshots and commotion and ran into their parents' room. According to the Ragbars, repeated calls to 911 proved futile.

The Ragbars' home is located a short distance away from the Ruimveldt Police Station but the sounds of gunshots did not elicit a response from the law enforcers.

Neighbours, who went to the station to summon police, substantiated this. This newspaper observed burnt holes in the couple's curtains, mosquito net and aluminum roofing sheets, which, they said, were made by gunshots.