LANCE Corporal Williams and Constables Fraser and Williams continue to be under close arrest following the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Dameon Belgrave on Friday night in front of the White Castle Fish Shop at the corner of Hadfield and John Streets, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown.
According to the police at about 21:30 hrs last Friday night ranks of a mobile police patrol at “B” Field, Sophia, challenged the occupants of motor car PGG 3506 after it was observed that they were attempting to evade the police as the patrol approached.
A chase ensued around the streets of Georgetown and the motor car PGG 3506 eventually stopped in Hadfield Street and five men exited the vehicle. During efforts to arrest them rounds were discharged and it was later learnt that Damion Belgrave, 21, of Middle Street, Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara who was standing on the roadway in the vicinity of the White Castle Fish Shop had been shot to his left side. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetwon Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Three of the suspects have been arrested and are in police custody. The motor car has been detained.
The three ranks, who were on the mobile police patrol have been placed under close arrest as the investigations continue.
A senior member of the Guyana Police Force, who is also close to the ongoing investigation has confirmed this assertion, and has disclosed that an investigation has been launched following the shooting.
This senior officer was asked whether the men had been accounted for, after rumours began surfacing on Saturday afternoon that one of the three ranks had managed to escape from confinement. His response was that the ranks investigating the shooting had accompanied the three detainees back on routes they had travelled, which led them to the location where the 21-year-old had been fatally shot.
The officer said he was aware of the movements of the men on Saturday; and up to the time that he had spoken with this newspaper, the men were in the custody of the police, and remained under close arrest.
On Friday night, Dameon Belgrave was shot after the police opened fire on a car which they had been trailing through several city streets.
This latest shooting has not enhanced the image of the Guyana Police Force and its relationship with the public, as many wept openly after the incident on Friday night. Persons, many of whom were speechless, questioned why the officers had to discharge their firearms in a populated area, and moreso at night.
There were also questions on why the White Castle Fish Shop had been allowed to continue operating its business as usual on Friday night, minutes after the body of the young man had been removed from the scene.
Commander of the Police “A” Division was informed of the concerns of persons, including Belgrave’s family members who had visited the hospital. The Commander then promised to check on the development and within an hour of his making the promise, the regular Friday night lime at the fish shop had been cancelled.
The police had been dealing with two shootings that had claimed the lives of five males; now the number of victims has increased to six with the death of Dameon Belgrave. The first incident occurred on July 18 when three men were shot in Linden; the government is presently spending millions of dollars to facilitate an independent inquiry into that incident.
Then there was the shooting death of Shaquille Grant of Agricola, East Bank Demerara who had been liming in a yard when the police opened fire on him and his friends, resulting in his death. The three officers who were on that patrol were placed on close arrest; and based on investigations and recommendations from the Director of Public Prosecutions, they were later charged. However, before it was announced that charges would be preferred against them, two of the men escaped from desk duties, where they were under close arrest, and the Guyana Police Force has since issued wanted bulletins for them.
Belgrave would have celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday. He was having a pre-birthday drink when he was killed.