The Guyana Police Force has launched an investigation into the reported discharge of a gun during the PNCR’s 18th Biennial Congress on Sunday afternoon, Crime Chief Leslie James has confirmed.
Amidst the chaos that broke out near the auditorium at Congress Place, Sophia, where the voting was taking place to elect the PNCR’s leadership, what sounded like a gunshot rang out. Persons claiming to have witnessed the discharge of the weapon said the shot was fired by a tall man, identified only as “Primo,” after several Lindeners, angered over their non-accreditation, started to cause a fuss.
Stabroek News has obtained a photograph of a man holding a gun during the confusion.
He is said to be the one responsible for discharging the weapon and at least two eyewitnesses have identified him as the shooter.
None of the party’s senior members admitted knowledge of the shooter’s identity, however, the man is said to have been there with the election’s Returning Officer, Michael Somersall, to protect him and his team.
Somersall could not be reached yesterday for comment.
Stabroek News also made calls yesterday to Kalibur Investiga-tive and Security Services, the firm charged with securing the grounds of Congress Place during the event. The firm’s management was not around, however, and so it could not be confirmed whether the alleged shooter might have been an employee of the firm.
The firm was also unable to say what measures allowed the alleged shooter, and any other licensed firearm holder, to take a weapon into the elections on Sunday.
David Granger, who was returned as the PNCR’s leader after potential challenger Aubrey Norton withdrew from the contest, had told reporters that an investigation would be mounted to ascertain the details of the incident.
Asked yesterday to give an update on the status of the investigation, Granger said he could not say if the investigation has commenced, nor could he state the name of the body or persons charged with investigating the incident.
He also could not say if the police have been involved.
However, the Crime Chief yesterday confirmed to Stabroek News that the force is making inquiries.
He said that disclosures will be made once the investigation is completed.
A call was made yesterday by Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon for the person responsible for the shooting to be held accountable for “recklessly endangering the lives of all those who were around and for the reckless use of his firearm, even if he is [a] licensed firearm holder.”
Solomon also called on Granger to ensure whoever is found culpable is sanctioned, and that he/she is not “sheltered or protected by friends and contacts in high places.”