CANU officer gunned down
Riddled with bullets as he entered Agricola home
By Samantha Alleyne
Stabroek News
January 6, 2003

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Two men on Saturday evening gunned down a member of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) just as he was about to enter his Agricola home.

Harold Duncan, 50, of 145 Cato Street, Agricola, East Bank Demerara, was cut down in the doorway of his home as his wife looked in horror from her hiding place.

Duncanís death is the latest in a series of murderous attacks on law enforcement officers by gunmen. Seventeen law enforcement officers - straddling the police, CANU and the prisons service - have been murdered since last April.

Duncan is the second CANU officer to be murdered. On August 24 last year, second in command of CANU, Vibert Inniss was gunned down when he stopped to purchase newspapers at Buxton, East Coast Demerara. Inniss had left his Melanie Damishana home sometime around 6 am that morning and was in his car, PHH 6436, parked in front of the vendorís shop when he was shot by two gunmen who were said to be in a white car.

According to a police press release yesterday, Duncan, who is also a boxing referee, was gunned down by two men at around 9.15 pm at his residence. His service firearm, a 9mm pistol with 15 rounds was also taken away by the men.

The release said that the man had just arrived home in pick-up PDD 6193 and parked it in his yard after which he proceeded to the entrance of the premises in the lower flat of the building.

It was while at the entrance two gunmen walked up and discharged seven rounds into the manís body. He collapsed, was picked up and rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The gunmen also discharged four rounds at the home of another CANU officer who lives near to the deceased and walked away.

Six spent shells were found at the scene.

Yesterday, when Stabroek News visited the manís home, the house was tightly closed and a senior CANU officer said that the family has moved for security reasons.

Four vehicles with CANU officers visited the area yesterday and they were seen with their guns drawn entering yards and speaking to some residents in the area.

At least one person was apprehended by the officers and taken away in handcuffs.

The officers also removed Duncanís vehicle from the yard and there were telltale bloodstains just in front of the door where the man was first shot.

A source close to CANU told this newspaper that Duncanís wife had just opened the door for him when the gunmen attacked him.

Sources say that when the men pumped the first bullets into Duncan he staggered into his home and collapsed there.

The men followed him into the doorway and shot him again.

They then relieved him of his pistol and made good their escape.

It was suggested that the fact that the men fired at the other officerís home might mean that they were from the area and knew the two men well.

Duncan is said to be a father of one and his wife was on holiday from overseas.

Duncan, who was a Warrant Officer in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), has been part of the CANU family for the past seven years.

He was described as a hard-working man who was always willing to go the extra mile.

ďHe always wanted to go the extra mile, he was dedicated,Ē a CANU source said.

According to the source, Duncan was always in the forefront.

The source described the manís death as a great loss to CANU.

And while it is for the police to carry out investigation and to find the killers, officers from CANU would also do their own investigation and should they find any clues they would hand them over to the police, the CANU source said.

On August 8 last year the CANU office on Homestretch Avenue came under attack by gunmen who sprayed it with bullets before lobbing two grenades into the compound and damaging several vehicles.

On December 18 last year CANU said that some of its members came under gunfire in the vicinity of Water and America Streets.

It was stated that around 11:15 am the vehicle in which the officers were travelling came under fire from unknown assailants. CANU had issued a statement then warning those who had attacked it that it was prepared to respond.

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