In the last 10 months the Three Kings Guest House had suffered two break-ins, so when the owner walked into the lobby early yesterday morning and found two men trying to steal his 50-inch plasma television he took no chances.
In defence of himself and his property Patrick King discharged several shots at the alleged perpetrators fatally wounding one.
The dead man has been identified as 18-year-old Camillo Mitchell of 19 Rahman’s Park, East Bank Demerara. Mitchell, this newspaper understands, succumbed to his wounds just outside the Robb Street, Georgetown guesthouse. His relatives have since insisted that they believed he was innocent.
In a press release issued almost 12 hours after the incident, police said that at about 4.35 am King was awakened by the sound of a commotion outside his apartment which is located in the guest house. When King opened his apartment door to check on the noise, police said, he was attacked by two men. During the confrontation King discharged rounds from his licensed firearm at the men.
Mitchell was later found with a gunshot wound. He was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Investigations, police further said, are in progress. Police did not say much about the second man, who managed to escape, in their statement. However, this newspaper understands that the man was also wounded.
After his run-in with the two men, King called police to the scene. It was the law enforcement officers who found Mitchell lying on his back just outside the guest house. The deceased reportedly sustained gunshot wounds to his back.
King, speaking to Stabroek News about four hours after the incident, confirmed that he is a licensed firearm holder and said that he caught the two men removing the second padlock from the cage in which the television is kept. The men, he reported, had also removed the padlock from the gate leading into the lobby of the guest house.
He was asleep when he heard what he described as a “breaking sound” and upon investigating he saw the men attempting to steal his television set. “They had already removed one of the two padlocks and were removing the other when I come out and catch them. One raise a crow bar as if to lash me and the other one put he hand to he waist like if to pull out something but I don’t know if it was a knife or gun, I just fire two shots,” King told this newspaper
After he fired the shots, King recalled, the men ran and he fired another two rounds as they made it through the passageway heading for the road.
King said he was protecting himself because he did not know if it was a knife or a gun the man was about to draw from his waist and he could have also been dead or seriously injured if the one armed with the crow bar had hit him in the head.
The guest house owner said he did not follow the men onto the roadway but instead called 911 and the police responded promptly. He said it was the police who told him that the man was lying on the street. He said he later identified the man as one of the two who had broken and entered his premises.
King opened the guesthouse, which caters for Brazilian customers, some 10 months ago and already the place has been broken and entered twice. He said the first time, he lost two speakers and some empty drink cases, while the second time nothing was stolen as he caught the man in the lobby.
“I catch the man and he look like a junkie so I give he two lashes and send he on he way. I did not report it or anything,” the man said.
King only has two employees; they clean and ensure that the rooms are ready, while he acts as his own check-in clerk and security of the guesthouse. He said he had hired a guard before and was forced to let him go. He added that he works hard and it is unfair for persons to continue to steal from him.
Before he opened the guest house the building was his residence, King said.
Police, according to King, have since taken possession of his gun as investigations continue.
Mitchell is the second perpetrator to be fatally shot following an attempted robbery during the last week. Randy Daniels, 17, was killed after he and several other men attempted to rob a Chateau Margot, East Coast Demerara business place last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, when Stabroek News visited the Rahaman’s Park home of Mitchell his relatives were already aware of his death. However, Jennifer Williams said that she was unaware of the circumstances which resulted in Mitchell being fatally shot.
The woman said she last saw her son some time around 10 am on Tuesday. Mitchell, she recalled, told her that he was going out and would be back shortly. Williams said she never heard from or saw her son again.
Mitchell, she said, attended high school but never wrote his final examinations. The young man, she explained, has been out of school for several years and used to work “on and off” as a mason.
“He innocent,” Williams insisted. “I know meh son innocent.” Williams said she had learnt of Mitchell’s death from her older son. When Stabroek News spoke with the dead man’s older brother several hours later he said that police had informed him of the details.
It was one of his younger brother’s friends, he said, who had told him that Mitchell had been shot on Robb Street. The man, who declined to have his name published, said he received the “horrible” telephone call shortly before 6 am.
“I went to the hospital and identify my brother body,” he told Stabroek News, “but I didn’t really check him to see is where he get shoot… the police tell me this afternoon that he get shoot one time in his back.”