A man was hacked to death by a co-worker last evening as a feud among workers at the Pritipaul Singh Investments (PSI) fisheries complex, on the East Bank of Demerara, turned deadly.
Mark Solomon, called “Taunty,” 36, of Non Pareil Street, Albouystown, died before reaching the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) with wounds that included a slit throat. His attacker, identified as Sheldon Bowen, called “Muslim,” 36, of Water Street, Bagotstown, East Bank Demerara, was up to press time last night receiving medical attention at the GPH for injuries he sustained during the attack, as Solomon tried to defend himself. One of Bowen’s fingers was severed and he had knife wounds on both arms.
The two men, who were employed at PSI as discharge hands–responsible for unloading shrimp from fishing boats at the wharf, were said to have had an ongoing feud which escalated yesterday.
The fight between the men began at the PSI complex and ended in Cross Street McDoom, where the bloody scene told the story of the violence. There were at least three pools of blood on the road and bloodstains were evident on a car in the vicinity, while a severed finger lay nearby.
Residents were tight-lipped when Stabroek News visited the scene about half an hour after the attack had occurred. This newspaper was told that following the attack, the police visited the area but left soon after.
Co-workers of the two men were shocked at what had transpired. One man, who asked to remain unnamed, explained that earlier in the day the two men had a fight and this resulted in Bowen punching Solomon to the face. The man said that Solomon, who began working at PSI less than two months ago, left the compound before his shift ended at 7pm and it was thought that he had left for home. No one could say why the two men fought but co-workers believed that everything had returned to normal shortly after the commotion had ended.
But, according to a few visibly-distraught workers, from all indications Solomon returned to the premises shortly after leaving and he was attacked by Bowen, who was armed with a cutlass and a knife. There were reports that at least one other person was with Bowen when the attack occurred but none of the workers was able to identify the person.
Solomon’s throat was slit first and the wounded man ran across the East Bank Highway into First Street, which runs alongside the gas station at McDoom. From there, he ended up in Cross Street, where he fell at the entrance of an alleyway near a parked car. It was here that he was brutally chopped and stabbed. Because of the instruments that were used during the attack, residents opted not to make attempts to part the two men.
From the information received, Solomon was also armed and attempted to ward off the attackers’ blows, injuring Bowen in the process. After the attack, this newspaper was told, Bowen calmly walked away from the scene as Solomon was left lying on the roadway struggling to breathe. It is unclear how Bowen eventually ended up at the hospital but he and Solomon arrived there around 7:42pm, a hospital official said.
Meanwhile, a distraught Randy Bharrat told Stabroek News that around dusk, his close-friend Solomon contacted him asking for a knife. He said that when he inquired what the problem was, Solomon told him that a man at his workplace cuffed him in his mouth. “Ah tell da man come away from there,” he said, while lamenting that he was unable to travel to the location to get his friend.
Bharrat was unaware of Solomon’s death until this newspaper broke the news to him. The man was in shock. He said that Solomon, a professional boxer, was not a violent person and was not one to start a fight. “He don’t deh in no story,” the man said, while adding that he also knew Bowen from an encounter several years ago.
Other close friends and relatives of Solomon were moved to tears on hearing of his death. His mother, Esme Austin, was inconsolable. “Me ain’t know, we jus hear he get stab up and we come. Is all meh children dem going an lef ne now,” she sobbed as she broke the news to a son who had just arrived at the hospital.
Solomon had in the past featured on the undercard of several professional fights locally. Family members told this newspaper that he was a welterweight boxer and fought for various gyms, including the Republican and the Young Achievers and he also represented the Guyana Defence Force and the Guyana Prison Service.
Co-workers described Solomon as a lively person, who was always entertaining them during work. Bowen, meanwhile, who had been working at the location for at least a year, was said to be always sharpening knives at the wharf.