Kitty liquor restaurant attacked
DPP, nine others injured
President calls emergency security meeting
September 26, 2002
Chaos broke out at the Natoo Liquor Store in Pike Street, Kitty at about 7:00 pm yesterday, when someone, or a gang of people, sprayed the place with bullets. When the dust had settled, four people were dead last night and several others wounded including the Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP).
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the attack may have been a drive-by shooting. Dr Madan Rambarran last night told reporters at the Georgetown Public Hospital that three men were pronounced dead on arrival. A woman, Joy Arjune a former employee of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Ltd died later at the hospital. Sources identified those dead as: Lloyd Singh, of 115 Enterprise, East Coast Demerara; motor racer Gavin Naraine, 32, of 54 Sheriff Street, Campbellville; and a customs broker called 'Kinky'.
DPP Denis Hanomansingh was reportedly shot in the shoulder and was treated at a private city hospital last night before being sent away, while the proprietor of the Natoo Liquor Store, Beharry Deokie, 53, was shot twice in the leg.
At least three policemen were injured in the shooting, including Kennard Barran (retired), Inspector Balram Persaud and another Persaud, who sources said is stationed at Criminal Investigations Department headquarters, Eve Leary.
Police sources last night identified the others wounded and hospitalised as Sunil Datt, who received gunshot wounds to a leg and hand; Balram Deopaul, George Sutherland, Deon Clarke and Kissoon Dyalsingh.
No one seemed to have known how the incident occurred, but the proprietor's wife said she was in the upper flat of the building when the sounds of rapid gunfire erupted.
Not knowing what was happening, the woman said she attempted to run out of the backdoor, but was cautioned against it by staffers who were scurrying up the stairs screaming, "No! No! Is gunshots!"
The woman said when she ran into the shop after the commotion, there were bodies strewn everywhere. Her husband was down in front of the bar and the DPP, she said, was "just standing" in a corner. When Stabroek News turned up on the scene, a vehicle was hurriedly driving away with some of the injured. Another man was slumped in an open-back pickup outside the store, while two other men were dead inside the liquor restaurant. The face of one of the men lying in the building was blown away. There was blood everywhere.
Tables and chairs were upturned, while broken glasses and liquor bottles were scattered on the floor. One of the supporting pillars in the business place bore a large bullet hole, as well as the concrete bar, which stands directly in front of the doorway.
Behind the bar, a schoolchild, identified as the proprietor's daughter, was crying uncontrollably, while the police tried to keep curious onlookers out of the premises. The liquor restaurant is well known as being a popular hang out for government officials and the police.
Last night, President Bharrat Jagdeo convened an emergency security meeting with heads of the security forces, including Police Commissioner (ag) Floyd McDonald; Minister of Home Affairs Ronald Gajraj and Secretary to the Defence Board, Dr Roger Luncheon; even while the circumstances surrounding the murders were still being determined.
Press Liaison to the President Robert Persaud said that the meeting discussed possible responses as well as enhanced security and law enforcement arrangements. He said the President was very concerned about last night's incident.
Persaud said that the meeting had agreed on responses, but these could not be revealed for security reasons.
Persaud wondered whether last night's shooting was a coincidence, coming very shortly after talk-show hosts whilst discussing the anti-crime bills were allowing calls from persons calling for the deaths of law enforcement and other public figures.