CANU officer gunned down at home
By Shirley Thomas
Guyana Chronicle
January 6, 2003

Related Links: Articles on crime
Letters Menu Archival Menu

ANOTHER law enforcement officer was on Saturday night gunned down in cold blood at Cato Street, Agricola, East Bank Demerara, bringing the death toll to three for the first five days of the new year.

Dead is Harold Duncan, 50, an officer of the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) and of 145 Cato Street, Agricola. He was also a boxing referee and swimming coach.

Duncan, who was gunned down at around 21:30 hours on his return home from work, had reportedly parked his pick-up PDD 6193 in his yard and was just entering his house when two gunmen, who had apparently secluded themselves somewhere on the premises, pounced on him in the doorway.

They opened fire on him and he slumped into the ground, bleeding.

The gunmen reportedly discharged seven rounds at Duncan, then fled the scene.

Duncan's wife, Sharon, with whom he had just spoken as he entered the doorway, said that it all happened with such lightening speed that she could not comprehend what was going on.

The widow said that she only heard the gunshots ring out, and on looking around, saw her husband slump to the floor. By then, the men had disappeared.

They allegedly took with them his loaded 9mm pistol and Police confirmed that six spent shells were found at the murder scene.

Neighbours and friends who heard the gunshots ran over to the home and rushed the wounded man to hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Sharon said that their nine-year-old son was in his bedroom, but she did not allow him to come outside until his father had been taken to hospital, since seeing his dad lying in that state could have affected him negatively.

streamed in to offer condolences and there was deep anguish as his older children and other relatives joined his wife and young son in trying to come to terms with the grim reality.

Crime scene: The doorway to Duncan’s home at 145 Cato Street, Agricola, East Bank Demerara. (Cullen-Bess Nelson photos).
After slaying Duncan, the assassins reportedly turned their guns on the home of another CANU officer who lives on the other side of the road, a short distance away, and discharged four rounds, then walked away.

Duncan, an ex-soldier of the Guyana Defence Force for 24 years, had been a member of CANU from its inception. He is the second member of the Unit to have been executed in just four months, and the 17th law enforcement officer to have been gunned down since the brutal slaying of Prison Officer Troy Williams on February 23 last.

On that day, five prisoners staged a daring daylight jailbreak, killing Williams and critically wounding female Prison Officer Roxanne Whinfield, on duty at the main gate.

On August 23, 2002, Deputy Head of CANU, Mr. Vibert Inniss was gunned down in cold blood in his motor car PHH 6436 shortly after 06:00 hours, as he stopped at a stand in Buxton, East Coast Demerara to buy newspapers.

And less than 24 hours into 2003, Police Constable Mark Latour of the Criminal Investigations Department was killed as he entered the Arapaima Restaurant at Quamina and Main Streets in Georgetown on New Year’s day.
The following night Police Constable Rayon Anthony Roberts was shot dead while sitting on a bench at the entrance of a shop on Bent Street, Georgetown.

On Friday night, a Rural Constable, Philip Knights narrowly escaped death when gunmen opened fire on the East Ruimveldt Police Outpost. The wounded officer was admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation in a critical condition.

Three civilians, including Knights’ nephew, were also hospitalised and treated for gunshot wounds.

Duncan leaves to mourn his wife Sharon, father Harold snr., four children and other relatives.

Site Meter