Albouystown teen Quinn Neblett, who was shot in the abdomen by a policeman, was unarmed and fired upon at pointblank range with a high-powered weapon, his attorney Nigel Hughes said yesterday.
Hughes said his client was shot after he was cornered on Thursday night in a small zinc enclosure he had run into for fear of the police, who yesterday maintained that Neblett, 17, had attacked and wounded a constable with a knife, necessitating the use of force.
The shots were fired inside the enclosure Neblett was standing in, Hughes, however, said yesterday at the scene of the shooting, adding that where the bullets exited the zinc it was bent towards the outside. This bending of the zinc towards the outside substantiates that the shots were fired from inside, he told reporters.
Neblett is now a patient in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) of the Georgetown Public Hospital and relatives said he is able to speak a little but cannot eat.
Police yesterday said that shooting occurred hours after another rank was attacked.
At about 18:30hrs Thursday, police said in a release, Constable 21510 Thorne, who was dressed in civilian clothing, was attacked by three men armed with knives during a robbery attempt at Hunter Street, Albouystown. “Constable Thorne put up a resistance during which he managed to escape but was wounded to his right arm and left leg. He was treated at the GPHC and sent away,” the release said.
The police added that at about 21:15hrs, while Thorne was being taken home in a police mobile patrol vehicle, the suspects were seen at James Street, Albouystown. “As the police ranks approached the suspects they ran in different directions and were pursued on foot by the ranks. Constable 21148 Wilson caught up with one of the men who attacked him with a knife and wounded the Constable to his left arm. The rank was forced to resort to the use of force and discharged two rounds at his attacker which struck him to his left leg and abdomen. Constable Wilson was treated at the GPHC and sent away.”
At the scene, this newspaper saw six bullet holes on the zinc enclosure which Neblett was in.
Hughes went on to explain, “You would appreciate that anybody who was in this room was not in a position to be a threat to anybody outside. Mr Quinn was neither armed with a firearm or knife. So they clearly stood from there and shot.”
He said “We have gathered enough evidence to show that this man was shot at a close range and with high-powered weapons.”
According to Hughes, Neblett was shot and taken to the hospital by the policemen, who returned to the scene and removed the spent shells, which are evidence in the matter. “Why were the persons involved in the shooting removing evidence from the actual scene?” he questioned.
One of Neblett’s friends told Stabroek News that she was with him when the police came. The girl said they were sitting in front of a house and Neblett and the other boys ran to the back of the house. The police followed them and about 15 minutes after, the girl said, she heard rapid gunfire. Neblett was then brought out by the police with his intestines protruding, she added.
Neighbours had told Stabroek News that earlier in the day, Neblett and a friend were attacked by an off-duty police officer in the vicinity. Another young man had stabbed the officer with a makeshift knife in a building under construction and Neblett grabbed a piece of wood and went into the building after his friend was attacked by the officer. The neighbour stated that this incident happened earlier in the evening and a police patrol had come back looking for the boys.