Two killed in attack on shop

Guyana Chronicle
February 4, 2003

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A BUSINESSMAN was Sunday night shot dead and a customer fatally stabbed when armed bandits waged an attack on a wholesale and retail beverage shop at 17 Broad Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, during a birthday celebration.

Dead is proprietor Albert Peters, 46, who had been residing and operating his beverage business on the premises for some 20 years, neighbours said.

He leaves to mourn his wife Asha, two young adult sons and a two-year-old adopted son.

The other person killed was identified as `Shurland', a mobile music cassette vendor who was among the group of about eight or 10 persons in the shop celebrating the birth anniversary of the son of a neighbour.

The badly traumatised widow and her sons who witnessed the ghastly murder of their loved one, vowed they would no longer operate the business there, and late yesterday afternoon packed their belongings on a truck and abandoned the building.

Asha tearfully exclaimed, "I can't stay here anymore...No more, no more!"
The grief stricken widow kissed her neighbours goodbye and left the premises.

Reports said that around 19:30 hrs Sunday, the group of patrons was in the shop 'having a drink' when a man entered and called for a bottle of Guinness.

Asha sold him the Guinness and he went back outside. She said that shortly afterwards the man returned, and about seven others, armed with guns swooped in, demanding money.

Even after relieving the business of an undisclosed amount of cash, they proceeded to terrorise and rob the customers of jewellery, cash and cellular phones, witnesses said.

The cassette vendor reportedly hid in a washroom, but was pursued by the bandits who mercilessly stabbed him in the region of the abdomen.

As the men unleashed terror in the tiny neighbourhood known as 'Berlin', residents looked on helplessly from their windows, but out of fear for their own lives, dared not venture near.

Witnesses said that as the terror began, two neighbours whisked Albert to safety, and hid him behind a building, but realising that his wife and sons were at the mercy of the bandits, he came out of hiding and stood across the road to see what was happening to his family.

It was at this point that he was shot, and his body lay bleeding on the road, they said.

Both victims were rushed to hospital but were pronounced dead on arrival.
Meanwhile, as the men continued their rampage, they beat Asha with a gun butt in her head, and pointed a gun at her adopted son, threatening to kill him if they did not get money.

Sunday night's shootings at the Broad Street shop came just 10 days following the horrific killings at another business place in Charlestown, which also clamed the lives of a business proprietor and two other persons.

On January 22, two neighbouring business premises, `Pet Boy's Shop' and 'Steven Beer Garden and Cheap Shop' in Ketley Street, just a few corners away, were invaded by bandits and patrons robbed and shot.

Proprietor of `Steven Beer Garden and Cheap Shop', Leonard Parjohn, 31, was shot in the head and killed in the presence of his family.

The other person, a passerby Carlton Norton who was returning from a nearby bakery was also fatally wounded.

Roxanne Reece, who was wounded in the crossfire, died a few days later at the Georgetown Hospital.

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