A suspected burglar was early yesterday morning fatally shot while fleeing from police a street away from his own home, at Better Hope, East Coast Demerara,.
Dead is Kawal Singh, called ‘Lil Bai’ or ‘Gazette’, 24, of Lot 6 Better Hope North, who succumbed at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), while receiving treatment for his gunshot wounds.
The shooting occurred at around 2am yesterday, when police ranks responded to a report of burglary at a house in Narine Street, Better Hope. A police press release stated that upon entering the building, they were confronted by Singh, who was armed with a knife. The release continued that as Singh made efforts to escape, he was shot. Police said investigations into the matter are ongoing.
Speaking with Stabroek News yesterday afternoon, neighbours said that Singh had been “thiefing” for seven years now, and had only just been released from prison a few weeks back. They said that every day since his release “is a complaint to de station for he.”
One resident, a bar owner who lives next door to the house that Singh had entered, stated that he was in his bed when he heard “two gunshots.” He did not look out. The man, who gave his name as Baker, related that after he had heard the gunshots, he turned to his wife and told her, “I bet me life is Lil Bai get shoot deh.” Baker said that after hearing the gunshots, he subsequently heard a car in the street and someone saying, “we carrying he hospital.” Soon after this, he related, he heard a siren but wasn’t sure from which direction it came. “When I hear de shots, I seh like he mek a move an’ somebody see he,” Baker said.
According to Baker, when Singh was in prison, everyone was relieved but when he was released everyone had to be on their guard. The man recounted that sometime last year he suffered a loss of approximately $90,000 worth in items at the hands of Singh, who later admitted to breaking into his shop and stealing the items. The bar owner said that on the night of the incident, his son, who locked up the shop, related to him that he had seen Singh lurking around and questioned his presence there. In response, Singh had responded that “he nah trouble nobody” and had moved further up the street. Baker said that on the following morning he found his shop broken into and the items missing, and he made a report to the police, who were unable to make an arrest as there was no evidence. Baker was later arrested himself and he met Singh behind bars, “and ah bring up de ting and he admit that was he de break into meh place.”
Singh’s family, meanwhile, admitted that he was indeed released from prison about three weeks ago. When asked the reason for his being in prison, the man’s father Roopand Singh and siblings related that there had been accusations that he was stealing. “When court day nobody nah show up so he does get loose,” he explained.
Singh’s brother, Kumar, recalled that he last saw him at around 7 on Wednesday night. “He say he going pon de seawall and come back,” the man said, adding that he never returned. The family paid no mind to his absence, as it was a norm for him to return late. They said that around 7:30 yesterday morning, they received a call stating that he had been shot and killed “but we nah know who shoot he.”
Singh, the third child for his parents, lived with them at their Better Hope home.