Mystery gunmen injure Montrose trawler operator
Chased him into trench, fired several rounds

Stabroek News
November 7, 2002

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Gunmen chased a Montrose businessman into a trench yesterday afternoon before riddling him with bullets and seriously wounding him in the neck.

Peter Berlin, a trawler operator of Broad Street, Montrose, East Coast Demerara, is now a patient at a city hospital with a deep gunshot wound to his neck and other bullet wounds about his body.

A resident of the village said he had seen Berlin about ten minutes before the incident leaving a lotto booth.

The eyewitness recalled that at about 5:45 p.m. a white car travelling west on the public road pulled up some 40 metres from where Berlin was standing.

Berlin on seeing the car ran across the road in a bid to escape. The eyewitness said when the driver saw him running he reversed the car and then halted.

Stabroek News understands that when the car stopped one of the occupants of the car whipped out a handgun and discharged a round at Berlin who continued to flee.

The eyewitness said Berlin then ran over a narrow bridge and jumped into a trench. He said by this time two of the occupants in the car came out, one armed with a small gun and the other with a rifle. He said while in the trench Berlin crawled under some moss and managed to hide behind a street lamp pole.

But once behind the pole, the eyewitness said, Berlin moved and it was at this point the gunmen spotted him and riddled his body with at least three more shots, one hitting him in his neck.

The eyewitness said the gunmen returned to their car and sped off in the direction of the city presumably passing the Sparendaam Police Station on the way.

Berlin was lifted out of the trench and rushed to the hospital where he is said to be in a stable condition. The man was up to late last evening bleeding through his mouth whenever he spoke. Many of his relatives and friends responded to the news and were seen at the hospital offering words of comfort to the man's family.

Some of the relatives and residents were of the opinion that the gunmen might have been trying to kidnap him.

When the police contingent from Sparendaam arrived some ten minutes after, the ranks quickly cordoned off the area and briefly carried out investigations. Up to late last evening ranks were searching a three-storey building that belongs to Berlin in Atlantic Gardens. The ranks were observed with their guns at the ready moving about in defensive modes. Residents were cautioned about their operation and advised to stay in their homes. When Stabroek News got to Montrose scores of residents had converged on the Public Road. Residents were overheard saying that they had seen the car driving about the village earlier in the day. A relative of the injured businessman said that a strange person had called for him during the day. His wife, Lorna when greeted with the news, after returning home from lessons, broke down in tears.

The family of the man was reluctant to speak to the media. Berlin is a well-known fisherman in the village.

The shooting by the mystery gunmen is the latest in a series of similar attacks.

The police have not been able to shed any light on the identities of the persons behind these shootings. (Nigel Williams)

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