Police raid Subryanville safe house
One killed, injured wanted man flees
Ak-47s, ammo recovered
By Samantha Alleyne
Stabroek News
November 30, 2002

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One man was shot dead on Thursday night during a confrontation with the police in Subryanville and his injured accomplice escaped through a nearby burial ground.

Dead is Brandon James of Lot 233 North Ruimveldt who was employed with the Clippers Barber Shop on Camp Street. The police said wanted man, Romel Reman, was the injured bandit who escaped.

Residents of the Subryanville and Kitty areas were awakened some time before midnight by rapid gunfire as the police pursued the escaping man who reportedly left behind an AK-47 assault rifle.

The man is said to have escaped through the burial ground of the St James-the-Less Anglican Church in David Street and the police fired several bullets into a building occupied by Father Evan Semple.

A police press release yesterday described James as a bandit and said he was shot during a search by the police and subsequent confrontation at Lot 84, Fifth Avenue, Subryanville.

Stabroek News understands that the police received a tip that there was a safe house in the area but upon their arrival they were greeted with gunfire.

It is understood that the two men shared the upper flat of the house with two women. A man who was living in a room underneath the house, along with the two women from upstairs were taken into police custody.

According to the release an AK-47 assault rifle with a magazine containing 38 live rounds and a Tech .9 submachine gun with a magazine containing 22 live rounds were recovered after the wounded bandit fled. The release did not say if any weapon was found on the body of James. It was stated that a search of the house at Subryanville revealed three AK-47 magazines with a total of 80 live rounds, 45 9mm live rounds, 18 .32 live rounds, 1 hand held multi-band radio, 1 grenade and a quantity of wigs.

A visit to the Subryanville location yesterday morning found that police officers were in the house and protecting the property.

There was evidence of bloodstains in the yard suggesting that that was where James had fallen after being shot.

There was clothing on the line underneath the house and except for three bullet holes in the exterior everything appeared normal.

A resident in the area told Stabroek News that she was awakened by the sound of someone trying to open the grill of her front door.

According to her she thought nothing of it as her relatives usually visit her late in the night to drop items. “But I had no intention of getting up and I said to myself if they wanted they would have left what they brought,” the woman said.

But later she heard a sound as if someone was scaling the fence on the left side of her home and suddenly there was a burst of gunfire. She made her three children and sister lie underneath the bed and turned off all the lights.

A glass window at the front of the woman’s house was shattered by bullets. The woman said she could not say who was living in the house where James was said to be staying since “people come and go steady” nor did she observe anything unusual.

Over in David Street Father Semple was alarmed that a bullet entered his bedroom window in line with his bed.

The man pointed out two large bullet holes in the wall of the building and there were several other small ones around.

Upstairs, bullets entered through the glass of two windows, one of them in line with the Reverend’s bed.

“I never experienced anything like this before, it is an ordeal I want to forget. After the bullet entered the window ...I sought cover under my bed.” One of the bullets singed a curtain. He said at one point one of the policemen observed him at the window and instructed him with his hand to lie low. Father Semple said sometime after a policeman told him they had found a jersey worn by the fleeing bandit. He said police officers also asked for a flashlight to assist them in their search but he had none.

Father Semple added he was having a trying week since earlier a thief had jumped through his window and stolen $25,000 from his pants pocket.

Another resident in David Street said she observed a man climbing over a fence

opposite her and right next to the Back to Eden Restaurant. She said the man ran into the burial ground followed by the police. And a man who usually leaves his cows in the `Old Burial Ground’ adjoining the church’s present burial ground found a calf riddled with bullets. At James’ family home a sister told Stabroek News that she had not known her brother to be involved in any criminal activities. She said her brother was employed with the Clippers Barber Shop for the last five years. Yesterday the shop was closed and a black flag was seen at the front.

The young woman said her brother would sometimes leave the home for a few days but would return. However, earlier this week he went home, packed a bag and left stating that he would be gone for a while. According to her they never knew where he went.

His girlfriend who was also at the home said that the last time she spoke to James was on Thursday and that he was at work at the time. James has left to mourn his parents, two sisters and five brothers.

And the police in their release stated that past experience has shown, from reasonable evidence, that wanted men who were injured, have been provided with medical and other treatment, outside of the established medical institutions.

In this regard, the Guyana Police Force said it wishes to advise that persons who may have information pertaining to the whereabouts of wanted persons, must notify the police immediately. It was stated that it is an offence to withhold information regarding criminal activities.

The police had issued several wanted bulletins for Reman for questioning in connection with a number of crimes.

Since October 28, when several bandits were killed and three safe houses with weapons and Molotov cocktails were found, the police have carried out a number of successful raids. There has also been a marked reduction in the number of armed attacks which had convulsed the country following the February 23 escape of five bandits from the Georgetown Prisons. Three of the men who escaped died following shoot-outs. Two are still at large.

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