Shot bystander should have been moved earlier from scene
-police source

Stabroek News
November 9, 2002

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A senior police source says Dorothy Williams, the woman killed on Tuesday night during a police operation, should have been removed much earlier from the scene and taken for medical attention.

According to the source, it is his understanding that in such situations when bystanders are shot and the target is no longer a threat that no effort should be spared in hurriedly removing that person to the nearest medical facility.

Williams of 413 East Ruimveldt was fatally shot in her back while attempting to escape from the scene of Tuesday night's shooting which saw police confronting wanted man, Adrian Greene. He was reportedly attempting to evade police when he was shot. Police in a release on Wednesday said the man had fired on a passing police rank resulting in them adopting tactical manoeuvres and returning fire hitting him several times. Williams who was at the entrance of the Wortmanville Housing Scheme flats was said to have been hit in the crossfire.

"Rather than having the person lying on the ground.. who is to say that that person's life cannot be saved?" the source asked.

He was of the view that it is more prudent to move the person than waiting for the completion of the operation especially in this case where the woman was not the object of the police operation.

The source also pointed to instances especially in the recent past where persons were shot and left lying on the scene for inordinately long periods. This, the source stressed, could lead to antagonistic situations in cases where crowds gather.

Another source was of the opinion that different situations elicit different responses especially those where there is an exchange of gunfire where it would be difficult and dangerous for injured persons to be removed from the scene.

In such cases he said there might be need to ascertain whether the possibility of there being more gunshots had abated before seeking to have persons removed from the scene.

On the issue of the pronouncement of death the source posited that victims of shootings should be taken to a medical facility for this to be done.

Further he felt that relatives should have the right to choose which parlour they want to use except in certain circumstances where a parlour is responsible for dealing with police cases.

Meanwhile, a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release yesterday said President Bharrat Jagdeo met with Williams' widower, Maurice Williams during which he expressed condolences on behalf of the government.

The meeting held at the Office of the President saw the head of state sympathising with the family on their tragic loss.

The police hierarchy had on Thursday at a meeting with the deceased's husband, made a commitment to assist with funeral expenses.

Acting Police Commissioner, Floyd McDonald, had further assured him that investigations into the circumstances surrounding his wife's death are being thoroughly conducted.

Meanwhile a post-mortem, which could answer a lot of questions in relation to Williams' death, was expected to have been performed yesterday.

The post-mortem is likely to provide key evidence especially as to the source of the bullets that caused the woman's fatal injuries.

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