Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 26-year old Cow Dam, Angoy’s  Avenue, New Amsterdam logger on Thursday afternoon during an armed robbery about 90 miles up the Canje  River in Berbice.

According to a release from the police, the force received a report on Saturday that logger Cleveland Hetemeyer along with three other workers were approached by two armed suspects who demanded their boat and engine. The police stated that Hetemeyer refused and was shot while the others ran away. The perpetrators then escaped with the boat and engine.

Reports are that the man was shot in the foot and abdomen after he was accused by the attackers of stealing items belonging to them. Relatives of the man told Stabroek News yesterday that Hetemeyer along with Alfred Henry, Anthony Blair and two boys were at a concession in the Canje River when the incident occurred. The men left the coastland for the area two Fridays ago and were expected to be in the area for three weeks.

Relatives related that Henry and Hetmeyer were cutting the logs on the day of the incident while the others fetched same to the waterfront close to their enclosed launch. After working that afternoon, the men were having lunch when they were approached by the two attackers, who according to relatives are known to them.

The men pointed a gun at Hetemeyer while accusing him of taking items belonging to them. And while he refuted their claims he was shot in the leg following which he ran towards the boat which was moored alongside the river at the time. The men pursued him and ordered him to get up and while he complied and surrendered, he was shot in the abdomen.

At the same time, Hetemeyer’s colleagues escaped and hid in the nearby bushes while the perpetrators escaped from the area but not before taking items which were in the boat at the time. The man’s colleagues then ran to his assistance and found him dead in the boat.

Sisters (sitting) of the dead man with their stepmother Lalita (seated at centre) and relatives of the other persons who were in the creek with Cleveland Hetemeyer. They were waiting patiently on the police to return yesterday with the body from up the Canje River.

Hetemeyer’s sister Roxanne Nicholson told Stabroek News at the New Amsterdam ferry stelling, where relatives gathered yesterday to await the arrival of the deceased, that her brother would travel to the location and spend time. She said she received the news of the incident on Saturday but noted it was sketchy. This newspaper understands that one of Hetemeyer’s colleagues contacted the police but the ranks were unsure of who the deceased was.

Heteymeyer’s stepmother Lalita Ramlall, was being treated at the New Amsterdam hospital for an ailment when she was told of the incident by another of her children, Tasha Lewis. She then reported to the police what she was told; that it was her adopted son who was killed.

The men were expected to dismantle a house while in the area and transport same to New Amsterdam, this newspaper understands.

Relatives were in tears when Stabroek News visited the stelling yesterday afternoon and the man’s body eventually arrived at the area sometime after 6 pm last evening.

The police stated in the release that a team of ranks had been dispatched to the area along the Canje River to conduct further investigations into the incident.2

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