One of three bandits shot dead was deportee
By Edlyn Benfield
Stabroek News
December 17, 2002

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One of the three bandits shot dead during Sunday morning's high-voltage shootout with police in West Ruimveldt Government Scheme has been identified as a deportee from the United States.

The man, named in a police press release as Shiek Tufail, was among several others deported to Guyana in September of this year, according to information provided by the police. The other two men who were killed have been identified as Phillip Reynolds of Independence Boulevard, Albouystown and Winston Richards of Field `A' Sophia, Georgetown.

The men were fatally wounded after a police mobile patrol responded to an alarm raised by 55-year-old Leon Layne, at whom the bandits had earlier fired two shots while attempting to gain entry into his home during the wee hours of Sunday morning.

A policeman received a gunshot wound to the upper left arm and authorities have since launched a search for a fourth bandit who is believed to have escaped with a quantity of firearms.

It is thought that these same bandits were responsible for a robbery at a house not far from where the bloody confrontation occurred.

A .38 revolver was discovered on the person of one of the dead men, a police press release had later said. A police source has told Stabroek News that some clothing and a cellular phone were also recovered from the scene.

This newspaper understands that police yesterday retrieved a bullet which was lodged in the wall at Layne's residence plus a bunch of keys found at the scene in the aftermath of the shootout. The keys reportedly belong to a resident living close to Layne's house and who was robbed the said morning.

Stabroek News spoke with the person to whom the keys belong and was told it was not until after the chaos ended that it was realised his family had been robbed.

According to the man, who opted to remain anonymous, following the confrontation between the bandits and police, his mother observed that a window bar for the lower flat of their apartment was missing. Further checks revealed that approximately $32,000 in household items were missing. The police have since taken a report.

Meanwhile, information on Tufail, 25, whose last known address is 268 East La Penitence, indicates he left the country legally in 1993 for the US but was arrested and charged for threatening behaviour last year. After appearing in court, Tufail was placed on probation for eight months but on violating same, later served a six-month prison sentence. Thereafter he was released into the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and subsequently deported.

Law enforcement officials have blamed the upsurge in crime partly on the number of deportees being sent back here.

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