Police shoot man dead in cemetery after ‘confrontation’
Say he was wanted for robbery By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
October 2, 2002

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A Kitty man was shot dead in what the police say was a confrontation between him and the Target Special Squad in the Kitty cemetery shortly before noon yesterday.

The young man, said to be in his twenties, was identified as Joel Duncan of 52 Stanley Place, Kitty, the father of two children, a toddler and a one-month-old.

According to the police public relations department, Duncan was wanted in connection with a robbery committed at gunpoint on a person on September 28.

The police spokesman said during the robbery, Duncan shot and wounded the victim’s friend. Duncan was yesterday spotted in the Kitty Market by the robbery victim who raised an alarm, the police said. Duncan ran away from the scene and sought refuge in the cemetery. In the cemetery, the spokesman said, there was a confrontation between Duncan and the police and Duncan was fatally shot.

Asked about the confrontation, the police spokesman said that he could not give details except that “it was a confrontation.”

One eyewitness said the squad members could have detained Duncan as he had surrendered. He said Duncan put his hands in the air after he was cornered and was shot through the chest. He said it would be interesting to see the post-mortem report.

Most persons in Pike Street, who looked out on the cemetery were reluctant to speak about what they had seen. They noted, however, that the members of the squad who pursued Duncan were expeditious in moving his body from the scene shortly after he was shot. The body was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Reliable sources yesterday confirmed that Duncan did have a brush with a prominent businessman’s son who was taken to his Stanley Place home last Saturday to buy a firearm from him. The events he related were corroborated by more than one eyewitness to the scene “of the transaction” which they felt eventually led to Duncan’s death.

They said it was no secret that Duncan, traded in “illegal stuff” including drugs and that “big people” would buy from him.

The police, the sources told Stabroek News, were aware of this but had never pulled him in. They said the police never put out a wanted bulletin or issued an arrest warrant for him. If they had wanted to they could have arrested him in the “tenement yard” where he lived with his reputed wife and two children, they said. Other family members also live in the same yard.

They felt that the reason for Duncan’s shooting was the fact that it was a big businessman’s son whom he had robbed.

The “so-called friend” of the robbery victim, they said, was well known to them as they all hang out together. They alleged that it was he who had set up the robbery telling the victim where he could purchase a firearm. Persons even knew before hand that the victim was going there to make the purchase and spoke about it. The victim who is a student is well known to them.

They claimed that the `so-called friend’ had taken the young man to Duncan to buy the firearm. However, while he was in the yard in Duncan’s presence, he was attacked by a gang known to the friend.

They robbed him of the cash for the purchase as well as jewellery and accessories. During the melee, they said that Duncan’s gun went off and the so-called friend was shot in one of his legs. He was taken to the hospital where he was admitted.

A check at the Kitty Police Station yesterday revealed that no report of any shooting on Saturday was made there; neither was Duncan said to be wanted in connection with a robbery as there was no report in this regard. A source at the station said that the matter was probably handled in another jurisdiction as that was also possible in special cases.