Sophia man slain by mystery gang
Masked gunmen were heavily armed
Stabroek News
November 3, 2003

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Heavily armed masked men dressed in black and calling themselves policemen executed a twenty-five-year-old Sophia resident yesterday morning in front of his reputed wife.

Yesterday, the man’s neighbours were alarmed at his brutal slaying saying that they could not say who would have wanted to murder the young man. They said the man bought and sold clothes. Skeete’s killing adds to the list of recent slayings and abductions by a mystery gang of men proclaiming to be policemen. To date, the Guyana Police Force is unable to apprehend these men or shed light on their activities.

Skeete’s reputed wife, Alexis Allen, who described her husband as a “traveller”, told Stabroek News that she did not know who would have wanted her husband dead.

Speaking to this newspaper from a relative’s home, Allen said that it was around 1 am when they heard what sounded like persons running into the yard of their modest abode where they resided with their baby girl.

She said shortly after she heard someone shouting, “police! police!” The assail-ants then started lashing the windows, some of which were broken.

Allen said that when she peeped out she saw around four men who were masked and carrying guns.

In the meantime her husband opened the door and was immediately shot in one of his feet. He was then dragged out into the yard and shot again four times.

“Those men, those murderers I must say, drag me husband through the door into the backyard and shoot he four times...” the grieving woman said yesterday.

According to her the men did not appear to have any vehicle as they exited the area on foot. However, she said that she was later informed by residents that a burgundy pick-up was parked on the main road and that they had made their escape in this vehicle.

No efforts were made to take Skeete to the hospital since from all indications he was already dead. The woman said that the police arrived on the scene at around 3 am, two hours after the incident.

Allen said that the investigating officers found what they described as some kind of incendiary device in her home. She said that she could not remember when the object was thrown into the house but the law enforcement officers told her that it was used to make people unconscious. One of her relatives said that the object was a tear gas canister but whatever it was it did not go off.

The woman said that she had been living with Skeete for the past three years and she never knew him to be involved in anything illegal or to have problems with anyone.

The residents said that the bullet-riddled body was left to lie on the ground until around 7 am yesterday.

“I don’t know wha dey go do but we also need guns to protect we self because people could just come in we village and shoot and kill we,” one resident lamented.

According to a resident, Skeete cried out, “ow you all don’t murder me, don’t murder me please” after which she heard rapid gunshots.

The men then exited the area and some residents then ventured out of their homes to console the man’s grieving wife.

A pool of blood in the yard was the only evidence of what had transpired hours before. Skeete was in the process of building a bigger house in the same yard.

When contacted yesterday a senior police officer confirmed the killing by the unknown assailants but said he had not gotten any reports of the men wearing black or being masked. Nor did he have any report of an object being found in the home. The officer said that it was reported that some gunmen visited the home of Skeete and shot him to death.

There are growing concerns about men, some masked some unmasked, going around in unmarked vehicles and executing persons while others are abducted. From all appearances the gunmen have marked their targets and are on a mission to kill.

On Friday night, taxi driver Troy Francis Hinds, was gunned down outside the White Castle fish shop by a gunman who reportedly waited on him in a car outside the establishment.

On October 24, masked gunmen in vehicles abducted Phillip Sergeant, 24, from his Lot 6 Joseph Pollydore Street, Lodge home and 23-year-old Andre Ettienna of `C’ Field Sophia on Norton Street where he was liming with some friends.

While Sergeant contacted his relatives after he escaped his abductors he has not been heard from since. Nothing has been heard from Ettienna.

Prior to these incidents there were several others where men claiming to be policemen murdered and abducted persons.

The senior officer said yesterday that the force’s intelligence unit is working on gathering evidence which will bring the perpetrators to justice.