Guyanese shot by Atlanta police was no robbery suspect
-says family
By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
August 7, 2004

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A Guyanese man, who was shot dead by the police in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on July 27 was not a robbery suspect, says his father, acclaimed Guyanese artist, Ivor Thom.

Thom told Stabroek News yesterday that his son, Favor Victor-Thom, 22, was killed in the same apartment complex where he lived and where it was claimed he was prowling.

Thom spoke with Stabroek News in the company of his daughter, Fern Victor-Thom and related that the complainant who called the police and reported that a prowler was at his apartment was actually someone who owed Victor-Thom some money.

Fern Victor-Thom, who lives at the same address as her late brother, said he had been trying for several weeks prior to his death to recover the money from the complainant.

The name of the complainant was contained in the Clayton County Police Incident Report, which said that following the report two officers responded. Both the complainant and the deceased lived in the same apartment complex.

According to the police report, officers responded and found Victor-Thom behind the apartment. The report said, "The suspect fled, running north. Officers pursued the suspect on foot, but lost sight of the suspect in the area of Riverwalk Lane." The two officers then "located the suspect, lying on his back, hiding in bushes at the south end of building 1518, Riverwalk Lane (where he lived). (The officers) attempted to pull the suspect out of the bushes and a struggle ensued. The suspect was able to pull away from the officers and roll over onto his stomach. When the suspect rolled onto his back, again he fired a shot striking (one of the officers) on the left side of the face. (The other officer) grabbed the suspect's gun and the suspect fired again. While struggling with the suspect (the other officer) drew his service weapon and the suspect fired a third time. The suspect rolled and aimed his gun at the (officer). The (officer) then fired four shots, striking the suspect in the lower chest area. The suspect rolled again and continued pointing his gun at (the officer holding the gun). (The officer) then fired two more shots, striking the suspect in the neck area."

The report ended by stating that two other officers arrived and assisted in disarming and handcuffing Favor-Thom but that "the suspect was deceased on the scene."

Thom told Stabroek News that his attorney was reviewing the case and would take whatever action was deemed necessary based on the findings. He said he had not seen the autopsy report but from seeing the body it was clear that Victor-Thom in one instance was shot behind the neck with the bullet lodging in the skull next to his temple. The bullet was retrieved from the area of the temple.

Victor-Thom, formerly of Georgetown, migrated to the USA almost five years ago. His body was scheduled to arrive in the country yesterday for a funeral in his father's home village of Victoria, East Coast Demerara.