One of the three men injured in the shooting which claimed the life of 33-year-old Essequibo businesswoman Shelliza Basir-Lall said yesterday that there was no time to try and see who the assailants were, as the immediate objective was life preservation.
Meanwhile, a second injured man has been released from the hospital.
The shooters, up to yesterday evening, remained at large.
Officials said Parmanand Persaud, also known as “Max,” was discharged from the private hopital where he had been taken and treated for his injuries.
Persaud, along with Basir-Lall, her husband Raymond Lall, 33, and another associate, Babatunde “Reggae” Nedd, were at Mambo (a bar on Barr Street Kitty) on Saturday night when masked gunmen walked in and unleashed a barrage of gunfire. Lall is also a well-known businessman in Essequibo.
Relatives of the four persons are hoping for those responsible for the shootings would be brought to justice swiftly. However, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said the police has not received any leads. Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, he also said that he did not know if Basir-Lall and her husband were the targets, and that motive had not yet been ascertained.
A post-mortem examination conducted on Basir-Lall’s body found that she sustained three gunshot wounds; two to her thighs, and another to her torso. Relatives were told that the bullet which pierced the woman’s torso damaged her heart and lungs, killing her almost immediately. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Her husband was shot five times between his ankle and hip. However, none of the wounds he sustained posed a serious risk to his life and by midmorning on Sunday, his biggest concern was that his wife had succumbed to her wounds. He remained in the hospital up to late yesterday afternoon.
Nedd was shot three times; once to each of his legs; and once to his left arm.
Up to yesterday afternoon he was still under observation at a private hospital.
Recalling what transpired what on Saturday night, Nedd said there was no time to see who or from which direction the gunshots originated. “When I hear the shots I just duck and look fuh cover, I ain’t had time to look to see was who, I was trying to save ma life,” he told Stabroek News.
And like Lall and several of his family and friends, Nedd was confident that neither he, nor any of the others that were in his company on Satrurday night, was the target of the attack. Instead, he was of the opinion that his group took bullets which were intended for someone else.
Basir-Lall’s immediate relatives also believe that she was struck by bullets that were not meant for her.
Stabroek News also learnt that at least two of the injured men were carrying firearms when gunmen began discharing shots into the bar. According to a source however, the gunmen were using automatic weapons. Faced with the overpowering nature of these weapons, any thought of return fire was abandoned as they took cover as best they could.
When Stabroek News visisted the site of the shooting in Sunday, neither the owners of the bar or their neighbours could say what really took place. Persons this newspaper spoke to said that they were either not at home or asleep when the shooting occurred.
A re-visit to the scene yesterday afternoon also unearthed nothing.