'Wanted' man dies in shoot-out with police
Bystander killed in crossfire
By Kim Lucas
October 30, 2002
Police shot a wanted man at Paradise on the East Coast Demerara yesterday and a bystander was fatally struck by a stray bullet while mending his bicycle tyre.
Dead are Melroy Goodman called `Budhai', 26, whom the police say was wanted for four murders and several robberies; and Ramdyal Dasai, 49, a Guysuco employee, of 400 Lincoln Street, Enterprise. A policeman was also shot in the right upper arm and was rushed to a city hospital.
A statement coming out of the Police Public Relations Office said yesterday that Goodman, who lived at Bare Root, also on the East Coast Demerara, "was fatally shot after he opened fire on a police mobile patrol, wounding a policeman in the process."
Goodman was shot at about 9:20 am outside a latrine adjacent to a small business place at Paradise, while Dasai, was shot repairing his bicycle in a nearby vulcanising shop. He later died at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
The police release stated: "The police mobile patrol was proceeding along the railway embankment when [Goodman], who was armed with a revolver, began firing at the patrol. The patrol returned fire and when the gunfire ended, Goodman was discovered with gunshot wounds. A .32 special revolver was found in his possession. Goodman was wanted by the police in connection with four murders and several robberies committed along the East Coast Demerara," the release stated.
However, Goodman's relatives and residents in the area claimed otherwise yesterday.
According to a man claiming to be his cousin, Goodman had told him some time back that a policeman was after him, because of his involvement with a particular woman.
"He say this police always after he. He seh some police want kill he over some woman. He say, `Boy, I got to protect meself...they want kill me. When they done, you ain't getting justice nowhere.' He say he know he gun dead and that he didn't commit no crime," the man said.
Villagers told this newspaper that prior to the shooting, they saw the police chasing Goodman and later riddled his body with bullets.
"This morning, de man [Goodman] went deh. They [the police] come deh and search he...They claim seh he shoot up...Dat is lie. Why these people must keep on doing this thing?" a visibly upset villager questioned.
The police yesterday said that Goodman was sought by the police in connection with the torching of a car at Buxton on Monday night in which 24-year-old Wayne Bristol was killed. Bristol, of Company Road, Buxton and of St Vincent and the Grenadines, was thought to have been burnt alive in the vehicle. He arrived in the country last week and was due to leave yesterday. The driver of the car in which Bristol died had been accused by an irate crowd of being an informer and being responsible for the shootings on Monday which left several bandits dead. The driver fled but Bristol was surrounded and the car was set afire. The attack was reminiscent of the one in which Edris Chester and her family barely escaped with their lives in an attack in the neighbouring village of Friendship. Two of their houses were burnt to the ground while they were being occupied.
Residents said that before Goodman and Dasai were shot, the police were seen raiding a home and business place of the Moore family at Bachelor's Adventure, as the search was launched for Goodman.
Mark Moore told Stabroek News that the police pointed a gun at him and lashed him in the face and kicked him while demanding that he produce Goodman.
"We stand up there and after they come and they start beat he up, we tell them that we don't know `Budhai'. They still knock him in his head," Moore's ailing mother related.
The young man said he was selling in his shop at the time.
"I deh in the shop selling and they [the police] come and point gun at me face." They asked him for Goodman before kicking open the door to the inner compound of the business premises.
"De man [a policeman] kick I and lash me and tell I to lay down on de ground. By time I fo go down, de man fire a shot over me head," Moore claimed.
He feels that the presence of his one-year-old son might have saved his life.
Meanwhile, at Dasai's home, the man's wife, children and siblings were barely able to contain their grief.
The dead man's wife, Sukhmattie told this newspaper that her husband had left home at around 9:30 to repair his cycle at the vulcanising shop at Paradise when she heard of the shooting.
"All we hear he get shot. One body seh he hand, one seh he foot and when me do hear, when me son-in-law go hospital, we hear he dead," the widow stated.
Dasai also leaves to mourn five children and seven siblings. He worked at the Guysuco Enmore Estate.
Several months ago, Goodman narrowly escaped death when unknown gunmen opened fire on a shack in which he and another man were in. Goodman escaped through a window though he sustained some gunshot wounds. He was later hospitalised. The other person in the house died from multiple gunshot wounds.