PNCR Congress shooting suspect nabbed at airport

Linden Primo
Linden Primo

Linden Primo, the man who allegedly discharged a firearm at Congress Place on Sunday during the PNCR’s 18th Biennial Congress, was arrested at the Cheddi Jagan Inter-national Airport (CJIA), Timehri yesterday morning.

The arrest was confirmed by Crime Chief Leslie James.

James told Stabroek News that the man at the time of his arrest was an outgoing passenger. It is unclear if the police have been able to ascertain if the man is a licensed firearm holder.

Asked why Primo was arrested, James said that it was as a result of the reported shooting.

Primo was shown on Monday’s front page of Stabroek News holding a gun at his side.

The firing of a shot at the congress has caused public consternation.

PNCR executive Winston Felix, who is heading internal investigations into the incident, said yesterday that he believes he has acquired footage of the incident and may be making the footage available for scrutiny at some point to the media for independent conclusions to be drawn.

Felix is the only PNCR member to date to confirm that Primo was indeed the man who discharged a firearm.

At a press conference yesterday, neither PNCR General Secretary Oscar Clarke, Vice-Chairperson Volda Lawrence, nor PNCR executive Lance Carberry would confirm the name of the alleged shooter. Clarke said that the matter was under investigation. When further pressed on why the party, three days after the incident, cannot confirm the identity of the shooter to the public, Lawrence offered that due process is being observed.

On Tuesday, Felix told Stabroek News that information reaching him suggested that Primo may have discharged his firearm to help a woman who was being stampeded. He said a mob of people began to push at the auditorium in which voting was taking place. The woman reportedly fell, unnoticed, during the confusion and was being trampled. Felix said his information suggests that Primo fired a shot in the air in an effort to scatter the crowd and protect the woman from sustaining injuries.

If this is indeed the case, the tactic worked as a people dashed away from the shot and off of the woman. She was able to walk away with minimal visible injuries. Clarke told reporters yesterday that he has heard the same story, although he lamented the firing of a weapon in Congress place. He said that “nobody is ever allowed in Congress to be carrying a firearm” and added that he was not entirely certain if the circumstances which warranted the weapon’s use. He gave assurances that all unanswered questions will be satisfied once the investigation into the matter is concluded and a report submitted.

Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon, who says delegates from his region were intentionally disenfranchised during the latest congress, has condemned the shooting as unacceptable and has called for the person responsible to be reprimanded.

Felix has said that any sanctions placed on the shooter will be applied by the police force.




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