Money changer killed in Lombard St ambush

-robbers snatch $1M during rush hour attack

An America Street money changer was yesterday morning fatally shot on Lombard Street when armed robbers ambushed him as he was driving to work.

The two men, who stole $1M that Bridjlall Persaud, 41, of Lot 119 Eccles, East Bank Demerara, was carrying in his car at the time of the attack, managed to escape despite the rush hour traffic. Stabroek News was reliably informed that the car used to transport the shooter and an accomplice was later found at a La Grange, West Bank Demerara address yesterday afternoon after members of the dead man’s family provided the licence plate to police. Persaud’s relatives said they received the plate number from an eyewitness.

It was unclear up to press time whether the owner of the vehicle was arrested.

Bridjlall Persaud
Bridjlall Persaud

The attack occurred along Lombard Street, opposite the Builders Lumber Yard at around 8:10, according to the police. In a statement on the shooting, police said Persaud was driving his motor vehicle along Lombard Street, Georgetown, when two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, attacked him. Persaud was subsequently pronounced dead on arrival at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Persaud, who changed money on America Street for over 20 years, had left home around 7:45am for work, according to his brother.

 

Eyewitness accounts suggest that the robbers used two cars; they used one vehicle to travel to the site and another for the getaway. Witnesses said that a silver car used by the robbers was parked on Lombard Street. The two men stood outside the car, awaiting Persaud’s arrival. Once Persaud drove up, in the midst of the traffic jam along the road, the two men crossed the road and one of them shot at Persaud’s car from behind before venturing to the side of the car and firing several more shots.

The armed man then collected the bag containing $1M from the backseat of the Persaud’s car and escaped via the getaway car, which was parked in close proximity further up Lombard Street. This newspaper was initially informed by police that the gunman escaped on a CG motorcycle.

Sources said that Persaud suffered about three gunshot wounds; one to his leg, one to the abdomen and one to the head. The bullet entered Persaud’s head from the left side and exited through the right side.

His brother, who asked not to be named, said he was told that one of his brother’s fingers was also shot completely off after he refused to open the car door on the demands of the armed man.

Persaud’s widow, Karen Persaud, was too distraught to speak to this newspaper. She wept uncontrollably and refused to believe that her husband was dead.

Persaud was described as a very quiet and hardworking man and family members said that he hadn’t any disputes with anyone.

He is survived by his wife and four children, of whom the youngest is 3-years-old and the eldest is 16-years old.

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