Flak jacket man killed in Buxton
Another found dead at Melanie
By Kim Lucas
Stabroek News
November 13, 2002

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Two men were found shot dead in separate East Coast Demerara villages early yesterday morning - one following a mysterious explosion - in what appears to be the latest chapter in a brutal gang war.

The first body, identified as Randolph Chapman called ‘Super Cat’, 35, who was reported as living at Half Mile Wismar, Linden; Plaisance, East Coast Demerara; and Stevedore Housing Scheme, Georgetown, was discovered at around 4:45 am by an army patrol, on Company Road, 300 metres south of the railway embankment at Buxton. The other man, unidentified up to press time, was found at 6:30 am in a playfield at Melanie, a few villages away.

Stabroek News understands that the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) mobile patrol was at the junction of the Buxton railway embankment and Company Road, between 3:30 am and 3:44 am yesterday, when the ranks heard a loud explosion, followed by a number of small-arms shots.

“On investigating, the lifeless remains of a male (later identified as Chapman) was found...with a number of visible gunshot wounds on various parts of his body,” a GDF release stated. Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent David Ramnarine told this newspaper that Chapman received multiple gunshot wounds.

The army further stated that the man, when found, was wearing a blue bulletproof vest, a piece of which was found next to the body. The GDF said the flak jacket might have been damaged during the explosion. They said a .32 mm calibre round was also found near the body.

The police release said two 12-gauge cartridges and a bullet were found at the scene. Ramnarine, in a release yesterday, said Chapman “was a reputed thief who had at least two criminal convictions [and] was suspected of being part of the criminal enterprise in Linden and other parts of the interior.”

But Chapman’s reputed wife and two of his brothers told this newspaper last evening that they were not aware of his involvement in criminal activities, nor did they know of the convictions to which the police alluded.

When Stabroek News visited Buxton yesterday, some residents contended that Chapman, an “outsider”, had ulterior motives. Some claimed that the shooting of Chapman was related to two previous incidents - the October 28 bloodbath in the city and at Annandale in which six men were killed, as well as the torching of a man on the Buxton embankment the following night.

One person told this newspaper that a group of men went to Buxton early yesterday morning and “throw a grenade at a house. The people retaliate and one person get hit.”

“It is a gang thing,” another man stated. He, too, repeated the account of a group of men going into the village and engaging another gang.

Chapman’s reputed wife said he had called her on Monday night to say that he would visit her later. The woman said she was at work at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation yesterday morning, when one of Chapman’s brothers called to inform her that he (Chapman) had been shot.

“I ran to the Georgetown Hospital mortuary and they told me to check Lyken (Funeral Parlour). When I called, they described the person and I just drop the phone and start screaming,” the distraught woman stated.

According to one of the dead man’s brothers, “when these (people) see strangers,

they just killing yuh. These (people) don’t ask who yuh be, they just say yuh come fo do them something and they kill yuh.”

But they were unable to say what the man was doing in the village at that hour of the morning with a bulletproof vest. Chapman is also survived by his two children.

Meanwhile, in relation to the second shooting, residents of Melanie said they heard two gunshots between 9:30 pm and 10 pm on Monday, from the direction of the playground. They just continued going about their business. Others said they were not going to venture outdoors to investigate, so were unaware that someone was shot.

It was not until early yesterday morning, they said, as some persons were crossing the field, that the man’s body was found. The police said there were two visible gunshot wounds to the back of his neck. The body was clad in a white vest, a blue pair of pants, a snap-rim cap and a black and grey pair of boots.

The police are investigating both incidents.

The killings are the latest in unexplained shootings by unknown gunmen. In addition to the shootings on October 28, a week later five man were gunned down at the corner of Robb and Light streets by gun-wielding men in a car. There have been similar shootings over the past eight months.

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