Gunmen slay constable on Sophia footpath
By Oscar P. Clarke
January 31, 2003
A police constable was gunned down by two men yesterday morning in Field E Sophia shortly after leaving home on a bicycle as a wave of attacks on law enforcers continues.
Constable Deon `Joe’ Joseph was the eighteenth police officer to be killed since April 2002 following the eruption of a crime wave. He was the 5th policeman to be slain since the beginning of the year.
Constable 18343 Joseph of South Sophia was shot repeatedly to the head, face and body and was pronounced dead at the Georgetown Public Hospital. He was a father of three.
A release from the police public relations department yesterday said that around 9.10 am two assailants both of whom are known to the police confronted Joseph about 100 yards from his South Sophia home and pumped eight shots into his body before fleeing.
The officer, who was stationed at the Kitty police station, the release said, was relieved of his service revolver with six live rounds. Joseph had been in the force since February 4, 2000. He was on leave at the time. According to reports Joseph’s wife had left home a short while earlier.
Stabroek News understands that Joseph, who had been living in the area for six to seven years, was cycling from his home when two gunmen approached on foot and began firing at him.
Several bursts of gunshots could be heard sending residents scampering for shelter. Sources told this newspaper that after the shooting, the gunmen calmly left the area on foot heading south as if they were going to North Ruimveldt before turning west to cross a bridge that joins field E with that of D and vanishing.
Several police ranks aided by the Guyana Defence Force helicopter searched the neighbouring field for the suspects but this hunt seemed to have unearthed very little. But police on the ground did manage to apprehend a suspect during their search.
The morning shooting threw the Sophia neighbourhood into shock and residents could be seen in several groups talking it over.
“They killed him like a dog,” one resident exclaimed while calling for a heightened police presence in the community.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Floyd McDonald and ranks of the force extended condolences to the family and friends of the fallen rank.
His death is the latest in a series of police and civilian killings in the Sophia area. On Wednesday evening, 36-year-old Gary Jankie of Field B Sophia was fatally shot by a gunman who information suggests, sneaked up on his stand close to Dennis Street.