Port Mourant backdam shooting claims third life

-fourth man has damaged spinal cord

David Harpaul, 38, of Rose Hall Town, who was shot when gunmen opened fire in the backlands on January 30 killing two colleagues, died at the Georgetown Public Hospi-tal (GPH) on Sunday.

He and two others Clement Griffith, 48, of Ankerville, Port Mourant and Zameel Abrahim, 25, of Tain had survived the attack while Chepille Layne of No One Road, Corentyne and Krishnaraj ‘Chris’ Jagdeo died shortly after the shooting.

His wife, Tricia was at the hospital when the nurses broke the sad news to her. She told this newspaper he always prayed that he would make it and “never expected it to go so far.”

Chepille Layne
Chepille Layne

Harpaul and the other survivors were first taken to the Port Mourant Hospital and then the New Amsterdam Hospital (NAH).

He was transferred to the GPH the following day and one day later relatives moved him to a private city hospital. After spending six weeks at that institution he was sent home.

According to his wife, the hospital told her “he was ok but he was not…” Three days later when the nurse came to dress his wound she realized that it had gotten worse instead of healing.

Krishnaraj Jagdeo
Krishnaraj Jagdeo

He was immediately taken to the NAH and from there was again transferred to the GPH where he spent about two weeks before losing his fight to survive. He was “always on ventilator…”

Tricia was worried about taking care of her two school-aged children; 14 and 15-years-old and said she would “have to find a job now. I would have to be the breadwinner.”

She was grateful that his employer, Manoj Singh of Spready’s Bakery “was always there for us and make sure we weren’t short of anything.”

Meanwhile, Abrahim who sustained bullet wounds to his back, suffered a damaged spinal cord which rendered him immobile. His left lung was also damaged.

After spending some time at the GPH he was sent back to the NAH. His mother, Shameila said he is still in a “lot of pain and the back feeling a beating sensation. At nights he’s feeling as if current running through his body.”

She said that although he is “looking good on the outside” she is worried that “something serious is wrong internally.” Several pellets are still lodged in his body.

David  Harpaul
David Harpaul

Doctors have advised that he should seek “overseas treatment” and she is pleading with the government to “assist with the papers to go.”

She does not want to delay longer in him getting help. She has endured a lot of expenses and so far has exhausted almost all of her money.

According to her, she had raised the issue of some nurses not paying attention to her son and instead of improving they have been victimizing him. She said though that some of the nurses are very nice.

Zameel Abrahim
Zameel Abrahim

The woman said her son is still traumatized from the shooting and is having nightmares and needs counselling.

Abrahim, a mechanic and tractor operator was also working with Singh while some of the other men were employed with Kris Jagdeo.

The other survivor, Griffith sustained injuries to his right hand and left ear. His condition has improved.

The shooting took place in the Port Mourant backlands at the Follow-up Co-op, a rice area behind the GuySuCo cultivation about 15 miles away from the public road.

After the shooting, Harpaul and Griffith managed to get into a boat powered by a 15 HP engine and then to a pick-up, both belonging to their employer, Singh.

The injured Harpaul captained the boat for about two and a half miles to where the pick-up was parked on a dam. He also drove the pick-up until he could no longer make it and stopped.

Two fishermen on a motorcycle were heading out of the backdam at the time and they heard the men screaming out in pain.

One of the fishermen then drove the pick-up and along the way a bus belonging to Singh caught up with them and took the injured men to the PMH. Abrahim was later brought out in an ambulance.

The men had gone to the backdam to conduct maintenance on a tractor when the shooting took place.

Police are yet to charge anyone in this case.


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