A bandit was fatally wounded by a licensed firearm holder shortly after midnight yesterday, at Belvoir Court, Georgetown during an attempted robbery.
The licensed firearm holder was in a vehicle which was dropping home a friend in Belvoir Court, when a gang of men pulled up behind their vehicle and attempted to rob them, according to residents from the area. The police in a statement yesterday said that as the occupants of the car tried to escape, the bandit opened fire which resulted in an exchange of gunfire during which he was killed.
The deceased bandit has been identified as Alton Bowen, a taxi driver of Independence Boulevard, Albouystown, George-town.
Police Commander of ‘A’ Division Clifton Hicken told Stabroek News that police were able to identify Bowen after processing his fingerprints through the system.
A relative of the friend that was dropped home in Belvoir Court said it is suspected that the bandits followed the vehicle from Blygezeigt where they had dropped off another friend.
It is believed that the group of men who came under attack were unaware that they were being trailed. It was after the friend entered his yard in Belvoir Court, the bandits confronted those remaining in the vehicle.
“The bandit then came out with a gun in his hand and seeing him, the guys in the car reversed in an attempt to escape,” the relative recounted. As they were trying to escape, the bandit then opened fire at the vehicle hitting the driver in his elbow, leaving him hospitalised at private city hospital. It was at this point the licensed firearm holder who is said to be a businessman and who was sitting in the back seat opened fire resulting in Bowen being shot.
Stabroek News learnt that the hospitalised man has since undergone surgery to have a bullet removed.
When this newspaper visited the scene yesterday, residents recalled being alerted to the incident as gunshots rang out around midnight.
One resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity said she heard approximately ten gunshots. She said they were watching television when the gunshots were fired. She stated that as the shots were fired the bandits’ accomplices quickly made their escape after jumping into the car they arrived with, leaving Bowen behind.
According to the woman, when residents responded after the shoot-out they found the bandit lying lifeless on the road next to his mobile phone and the firearm.
On arriving at the scene police recovered a .32 pistol which allegedly belonged to the now dead suspect, along with seven .32 spent shells and a cellular phone.
Neighbours bemoaned the fact that police did not arrive in time to catch the others. Stabroek News was told police arrived approximately 30 minutes after the shooting.
Bowen’s immediate family could not be contacted yesterday. This newspaper learnt he had brushes with the law and had been placed before the courts.
Police are currently in the process of reviewing surveillance footage gathered from the area to identify the other suspects.
Four vehicles including the one the businessman and his friends were in sustained damage following the shoot-out.