Soldier among three killed in Buxton shootout

Guyana Chronicle
May 16, 2003

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A GUYANA Defence Force (GDF) soldier died in a shootout yesterday morning with a known criminal and two other men during a joint Police/Army cordon and search operation at Buxton, East Coast Demerara.

Dead is Lance Corporal Shemton Dodson, of Artillery Company, Camp Stephenson, Timehri, and of Paradise Village, West Coast Berbice.

The GDF Public Relations Department said the shooting occurred around 02:15 hrs, at the corner of Barnwell Street and Church of God Road, Buxton, during the joint GDF/Guyana Police Force operation.

According to the Army press release, the members of the GDF patrol were fired upon by three men. It said the patrol returned fire, killing two of the gunmen while the third escaped.

The wounded soldier was immediately rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Recovered from the scene of the shooting was one AK 47 assault rifle fitted with a retractable butt and three magazines containing live rounds.

A Police release said the joint Army/Police search operation in Buxton yesterday morning was based on information that the kidnapped businessman from De Hoop, Mahaica, was being held in a house in the village, which officials say is a safe haven for criminals.

The Police, however, confirmed that the kidnapped man was not found in the house.

Police late yesterday afternoon positively identified the body of one of the two men fatally shot during the confrontation.

He was identified as Mark Phillips also called `Big Batty Mark', deported from Cayenne in 1999. Phillips was wanted in connection with a series of murders committed on Policemen and civilians, as well as a number of robberies under arms, Police said.

The release said a wanted bulletin had earlier been issued for him.

A source said Phillips was also wanted for kidnapping.

The other man whose `call' name was given as `Chinee' was still to be identified, Police said.

Police said they suspect he may have been part of a criminal enterprise.

They are asking anyone with information in relation to the man called `Chinee' to contact the nearest Police station, or call telephone numbers: 223-8940; 229-2289; 229-2569; 229-2557; 226-1326; 225-2700 or 270-1856.

The Police have assured that all information given will be treated with the strictest of confidentiality.

President extends condolences on death of soldier
PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo, also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, has been briefed on the death of Lance Corporal Shemton Dodson of the Guyana Defence Force who was shot by armed criminals during a joint Police/Army cordon and search operation in Buxton yesterday.

"His Excellency extends his sincerest condolences to the relatives, friends and colleagues of Lance Corporal Dodson who died in the line of duty. The President notes the bravery and commitment to duty of this soldier in confronting the criminals operating out of Buxton", a release from the Office of the President said.

"It is apposite to recall that Lance Corporal Dodson is the most recent member of the security forces to have died at the hands of criminals.

"The Commander-in-Chief observes that Lance Corporal Dodson's death is another timely reminder of the grave dangers the loyal and hardworking members of our security forces face in maintaining law and order and preserving the security of each and every Guyanese", the release added.

President Jagdeo is on a five-day visit to Russia to meet the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin and potential investors and to participate in a World Forum of Foreign Graduates.

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