Ricardo Rodrigues, the man at the centre of the recent arms
cache diascovery at Lethem, Rupununi, was yesterday afternoon shot dead execution- style in the city. Three other men were seriously wounded and were rushed to hospital.
The incident happened shortly after 16:00 hrs, when gunmen walked into the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMRSC) Restaurant, Albert Street, where a few persons were ‘hanging’ and opened a hail of gunfire.
Rodrigues, who was sprayed with bullets, was caught unawares, witnesses say, and had virtually no way of escaping. He immediately collapsed under gunfire, succumbing to his multiple gunshot wounds.
Those injured are: Aubrey Henry 35, of Alberttown, shot in both thighs; Jean Pierre Le Blanc (said to be a Canadian) - shot in his left buttocks and Michael Hutchinson 42, shot in the arm and foot. Hutchinson was initially rushed to the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital,was stabilised and later referred to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where he joined the other injured persons in treatment. Meanwhile, Pierre was taken to the X-Ray Department at the GPHC to have X-Rays done to determine the extent of his injuries.
At press time, this newspaper was still unable to verify whether the bullets were lodged in the victims’ tissues or had exited their persons. However, they were all kept for observation and are under doctors’ close watch.
This newspaper was also unable to get confirmation as to whether the men injured were in Rodrigues’s company at the time of the shooting, but indications are that Michael Hutchinson, an athletic trainer (Coach) was accidentally hit in the shoot-out aimed at Rodrigues.
Meanwhile, as heavy gunfire broke the silence in the usually quiet neighbourhood which houses the Critchlow Labour College; Texila Medical University and the Guyana Industrial Training Centre, students became curious and ventured outside to enquire. Some claimed they saw men dressed in black, running across the open ground of the GMRSC in an apparent escape bid. The men also fired at, and destroyed a security camera installed outside the GMRSC building.
News of Rodrigues’s execution spread around town like wildfire, and within minutes scores of people had converged at the scene. Among them were his wife, son and other relatives, who broke down and wept uncontrollably as his body was taken away by the hearse.
Rodrigues, 40, also called ‘Fatman’ and said to he Roger Khan’s associate and ‘right hand man’ was fingered in the Lethem arms cache two weeks ago, which included AK-47 assault rifles and grenades. Following the discovery, police had issued a ‘wanted bulletin’ for him. However, he last week turned himself over to the police and with the intervention of his lawyer, Glen Hanoman, was placed on $100,000 bail.
A ‘wanted bulletin’ was also issued for Clive Lloyd King, 36, called “Bora,” , said to be Rodrigues’s cousin, and previously described as the main suspect in the case.
King, 36, is said to be brown in complexion and his last known address was given as Tabatinga, North Lethem.