Quason Paul, a 22 year-old, who chased after bandits who had robbed a friend, said he was shot in his right leg by a police stray bullet after the law enforcers also joined the pursuit early on Christmas morning.
Paul is currently a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and spent Christmas Day in the male surgical ward.
When Stabroek News visited him at the hospital yesterday, he related that in the wee hours of Christmas morning, he and seven other persons were on Camp Street when one of their number proceeded to the Demerara Bank ATM to withdraw money. “We been in front of Quik Serv when I see some boys them start choke me good friend. I tek it as a joke but is after they start taking he stuff then we realize that it was a robbery and then we run after them” Paul related.
He said that after he and his other friends began chasing the three bandits, police ranks who were on patrol in the area pulled up and enquired as to why they were running. Paul said after the explanation he and his friends were then invited to sit in the police van and the chase began anew.
“We meet them (the robbers) in a place, I can’t remember the exact location but it was dark and me and me friend dem jump out the van and they jump a fence and one a de boys dem had a gun and de police start shooting and I get hit in me right leg” Paul said quietly in pain.
Paul said that after he was shot, a member of the gang was also shot and subsequently caught by the police. He said that they were then taken to the GPHC; treated and admitted.
Paul said that since his hospitalization, no police official has visited him to take a statement on the incident.
The police had a different version on Christmas Day of how Paul was shot, In a statement, police said that at about 0130h on Christmas Day, Khazram Lashley, 19 years of Campbellville, Georgetown; Pradin Yadev, 32 years of Croal Street, Georgetown; and Mohit Vaswani, 21 years of Croal Street, were walking along Camp Street, Georgetown, when they were held up by three men, one of whom was armed with a handgun and the others with knives. The armed men, police said, took away a total of $33,000 and a cell phone from the victims and were pursued by Lashley and Paul, who were a short distance away. Police said that during the chase the armed man discharged shots, hitting Paul to his right thigh.
The police statement also said that ranks of a police mobile patrol were alerted by the gunshots and responded and continued the chase after the perpetrators.
The armed man discharged rounds at the police who returned fire, hitting one of them to his right leg. The other two men managed to escape, police said.
The injured perpetrator has been identified as Mark Anthony, 18 years, of Hogg Street, Albouystown, police said.
The stolen cell phone was recovered by the police.