Residents recall terror of Broad St killings
Bar’s owner shot, patron stabbed
By Kim Lucas
February 4, 2003
They never thought it could happen to them. This was the familiar story of victims who barely survived another brazen attack on Sunday night in which one man was stabbed to death and another was fatally shot.
It was just one day before his youngest son was to celebrate his 17th birthday, when three bandits gunned down 45-year-old Alfred Peters in front of his home and business place at 17 Broad Street, Georgetown. Some minutes later, 18-year-old Shawn Maniram, of 112 Diamond New Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara, was found stabbed in a washroom of the same establishment. He died shortly after.
Peters’ wife, Asha, was still in shock yesterday, and another young man, who was badly beaten and robbed, packed his mobile music cart into a truck last night and headed home. He told Stabroek News that he was too terrified to continue plying his trade in the city.
The young huckster told this newspaper that between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., he, Maniram and some other persons were standing at the bar when two men walked into the shop and held up Peters’ wife. As one bandit started emptying the drawer of cash another approached the group and demanded “everything...gold and silver and if they find anybody with anything else, they gon kill”.
According to the music seller, as he started handing over his valuables, including a bag of CDs, one of the bandits hit him in the face with the gun.
He fell to the floor and was kicked several times about the body. Shortly after he noticed a knife fall beside him. The young man said the bandits immediately ordered everyone to move into the washroom area. While in there, he noticed Maniram’s intestines protruding and realised that the young man had been stabbed.
At the same time, three gunshots rang out. Just then Peters was found lying in the middle of the road with a bullet through his head and another through his neck.
Another man who was operating the music set at the time, recalled how one of the gunmen pointed his weapon at a three year-old boy who was walking around.
“I was just in the bar there when about two boys came in. One put a gun to my head, the other put the other gun to the mistress head and start demanding money. It was just small change in the drawer, approximately $3,000 or $4,000. Just after that, a next one come running in...`Wha? She ain’t give you the money? Shoot she! Shoot she!’,” the man recalled.
Peters’ wife kept appealing to the bandits, one of whom turned his wrath on the toddler.
“Then they put the gun to [the three-year-old’] head...He was traumatised. He [the child] left puzzled. He was walking coming in the middle here and then his mother came for him. I couldn’t move at the said time because I had a gun to me head...She [the child’s mother] was so brazen enough, she was standing at the door and she was saying, `Come!’ and he just keep walking and go to her.”
The eyewitness said despite the robberies and killings occurring everyday, he never thought it could have happened to them.
“No, we never thought that it would happen, especially in a area like this - Charlestown. And we are living way in the ghetto, with all kinds of different people. We never thought this woulda happen.”
Stabroek News understands that there were a lot of people in the building at the time of the attack. Peters who was outside was told that there were gunmen in his shop and witnesses said that he might have been attempting to get a better view when he was killed.
But the trauma did not end there for the group, for they tried unsuccessfully to get a vehicle to take the victims to the hospital.
“There were several police vehicles passing at the same time, and all of us was yelling at them after the guy was shot and none responded. One vehicle stopped and he [a policeman] started to ‘busing the people them..`What de s.. ya’ll calling we for? Ya’ll got to solve ya’ll f..ing problem’...So about an hour and a half after I called the police they came and they just spend about 10 minutes and then they left,” the man reported. His allegations were echoed by several other persons. Up to yesterday the police had not issued a statement on the murder/robbery and attempts to elicit a comment failed.
Maniram, who hailed originally from Hampton Court, Essequibo, leaves to mourn his parents and six younger siblings. He had left his home about a year ago in search of employment and reportedly started carrying the knife that he was stabbed with for his own protection.