Another cop gunned down in cold blood
By Shirley Thomas
Guyana Chronicle
January 3, 2003

Related Links: Articles on police
Letters Menu Archival Menu

LESS than 24 hours into the New Year, the nation has witnessed the brutal cold-blooded slaying of yet another Policeman.

Dead is Constable 15885 Mark Latour of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The 29-year-old cop, who hailed from Eversham, Berbice, lived with relatives at Lot 46 Norton Street, Wortmanville.

The killing also comes less than two weeks after the execution of Police Constable 16840 Colin Robertson of the CID Patrol Unit.

A Police release said yesterday that the Policeman was gunned down around 22:50 hours on New Year's night as he entered the Arapaima Restaurant at Quamina and Main Streets, Georgetown.

Reports said that Latour, who was off duty at the time, had just entered the restaurant when a gunman who was inside, suddenly whipped out a pistol and discharged six rounds at him, fatally wounding him. In the process, one on the glass doors of the building was shattered. The gunman then fled the scene.

Latour collapsed to the ground and was picked up by a security guard who rushed him to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He received gunshot wounds to the left jaw, the left side of his chest, and the left thigh.

Police said that six 9mm spent shells and two warheads were found at the scene.

Mother of the dead cop, Ms. Annie Sutherland, who resides at Nicolay Street, New Amsterdam yesterday related to the Chronicle that less than ten minutes before his death, she had spoken with her son on the telephone.

The distraught mother, who described her son as “loving, caring and dutiful”, related that Mark, the third of three siblings, was very much attached to her, and they would communicate on the telephone each day.

She said that it is customary that he would travel home to Berbice for Christmas, but on this occasion he was unable to, and had promised her that he'd be home for New Year's Day.

But when it became late on New Year's Day and he did not come home, Sutherland said she called him on his cellular phone, and on the second ring, full of life and enthusiasm he replied, "Hi Mom!" as if he was expecting her call.

Sutherland said she figured he must have been approaching the restaurant at that time, and they chatted briefly. The mother said she enquired of her son where he was at that time, and he replied that he was on the road. She recalled she was not happy when she heard that, knowing of the crime situation in Georgetown.

Sutherland recalled that she urged him to go home, and he promised to, adding that he would send her some money and a parcel of clothing the following day.

The mother said that soon after speaking with her son, she heard the phone ring and it was another relative, a Police rank, calling her to say that Mark had been shot.

The woman said she responded in utter disbelief, since it was only minutes before that she had spoken with him and he was in such good sorts.

She said she immediately called his cell number and a female answered. It was a Policewoman, and the cop enquired what was her (Sutherland's) relationship to Latour.

The mother said that when she identified herself, the female cop tearfully confirmed that Latour had just been shot and had died. His mother and other relatives from Berbice travelled to Georgetown early yesterday morning and identified his disfigured body at the Georgetown Hospital Mortuary. With them, was his elder brother, Orin, who lives in Suriname and had come home for the Christmas holidays. Orin said he last saw his brother about a year ago.

Meanwhile, an evidently distraught Commissioner of Police (Acting) Floyd McDonald, referring to Latour's death as a “merciless execution”, yesterday expressed deep sadness over the tragedy. He deplored the “wanton” execution of Policemen both on and off the job.

He vowed that firm steps would be taken to deal with the perpetrators of these crimes.

"The Guyana Police Force will continue to resolutely seek and arrest the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against its membership," he affirmed.

McDonald said that, as Head of the Force, he was very much concerned about the brutal slaying of Policemen, and he lamented the fact that at the time that Latour was gunned down, he was not engaged in any argument nor did he have any confrontation with his assailant. The motive for the cop's killing is not known, the Commissioner told the Chronicle.

The year has not started well in that one of the Force's off-duty detectives was mercilessly executed in the City last (New Year's) night," he said.

These acts of lawlessness and criminality, the Commissioner said, tend to affect negatively the morale of the membership of the Force. They aim at weakening its resolve in fighting crime and the preserving law and order.

McDonald noted that attacks on law enforcement officers strike at the very root of law and order in the society, and pledged that the Force cannot allow this situation to continue.

The top cop made a renewed call for the continued support of the population in the Force's efforts at ridding society of these characters.

To the sorrowing relatives of Latour and Robertson, the Commissioner expressed profound condolences on his own behalf, and on behalf of the members of the Force.

He assured: "They can count on our support in this hour of bereavement. We will continue to take appropriate steps to ensure that there is a continued change in this criminal situation in the country."

Latour leaves to mourn his mother Annie Sutherland, brother, Orin, sisters, Leslyn and Vanessa, and other relatives. His father who was also a Policeman died a few years ago.

Site Meter