Ex-cop gunned down in Bel Air
-well-planned hit by M-70 assassin By Nigel Williams
Stabroek News
December 11, 2003

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A lone gunman killed a 36-year-old ex-cop in Bel Air last night

in what is being described as another well-planned execution.

Victim, Axel Williams was at the time reversing a white Toyota minivan belonging to Ashton and Debra (A&D) Funeral Parlour when the gunman, who was dropped off on the street only minutes before, opened fire.

Eyewitnesses said Williams, of Roxanne Burnham Gardens, Georgetown had no chance to defend himself from the gunman who pumped at least 20 bullets into him and the vehicle with some ricocheting onto a fence. The gunman and his accomplices were said to be trailing him all night. When Stabroek News arrived some 20 minutes after the shooting, the police had already escorted the man's body to the Georgetown Hospital, something which usually does not happen.

Recounting the incident, an eyewitness said it was around 7:15 pm when the A&D vehicle with licence number, PHH 8117, drove into Ituni Street from a southerly direction. The eyewitness recalled that the vehicle made another turn east into Ireng Street to drop off a colleague of Williams'.

Stabroek News was told that Williams had been working as a driver/bodyguard for the man who is also a prominent businessman and would normally escort the man home every night but with different vehicles.

However, residents recalled seeing the same vehicle in the street as recently as Tuesday night.

"So when the vehicle drive through I see a car pull up at the head of Duncan Street and then a motor bike with two men pull up at the corner," said a resident.

According to the eyewitness, the motorcycle stopped at the corner of Ireng and Ituni Streets and dropped off a man who was armed with an M-70 rifle. Stabroek News was told that the motorcycle then sped away in a southerly direction leaving the gunman standing with his weapon at the ready on a bridge opposite Lot 80 at the head of Ituni Street.

A few minutes elapsed and the vehicle began to reverse out of the street and simultaneously the gunman was seen answering his cellular phone.

"It look as if someone was watching the movements of the vehicle and was now calling the gunman to tell he it was coming out the street."

The eyewitness related that as the vehicle was reversing the anxious gunman took a few steps off the bridge and was seen looking around as if to ensure that no one was looking.

According to the eyewitness, as soon as the vehicle came close to Ituni Street the gunman unleashed a barrage of gunshots from the automatic weapon.

"It was like if dis man ain't stopping was bullets non-stop."

The eyewitness observed that the gunman then went closer to the vehicle and released a fusillade at the driver shattering the windows and also leaving bullet holes in its exterior.

Williams reportedly made a quiet sound and then slumped over the steering wheel. At this point the gunman stopped shooting and eased away from the vehicle at which time a different motorcycle pulled up on the scene and carried him out of the area.

Shortly after, the eyewitness said he heard another eruption of gunshots coming from the direction of the vehicle, which he imagined might have come from the man whom Williams had dropped off. The eyewitness said the man was later seen with his weapon in his hand walking around.

During the shooting a grey car with licence plate # PHH 5994 had its windows shattered too. The owner of the car who lives at Lot 90 Ituni Street said shortly after the gunman left, the police drove up and quickly cordoned off the area. They however did not go in search of the gunman even though persons on the scene gave them the direction in which he had fled. Williams' face was badly disfigured, his lower body bore several bullet wounds. Both sides of the front windows of the vehicle were completely shattered and one of its wheels almost blown out. A pool of blood was on the floor of the vehicle.

When Stabroek News contacted Williams' family last evening his mother declined to comment. She had earlier gone to the hospital to identify his body. His wife also could not be contacted as relatives said she had left Georgetown following the shooting.

Williams, who persons say was an ex-cop, was alleged to have shot and killed a man last year in a row over $20.

His killing is just another sign for many that the crime wave of last year is returning. Sources said the killing was most likely carried out by the anti-phantom group. This group and the so-called phantoms have been locked in a bloody struggle over the past year.