The police yesterday said that taxi driver Lloyd Johnson was shot on Tuesday night at Liliendaal when he opened fire on cops who were probing the theft of cars.
Up to press time last evening Johnson was undergoing surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospi-tal and he remains under police guard.
A police release said that acting on information received while conducting a probe into the larceny of two motor vehicles from Selena Auto Sales at Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, they went around 7.30 pm on Tuesday to a house at Liliendaal where Johnson called `Belly’ and five other men were seen.
“Upon seeing the police Lloyd Johnson opened fire on the ranks in a bid to escape. The police returned fire and he was struck to his abdomen and left thigh. A .32 revolver with 3 rounds and a spent shell was recovered at the scene”, the police statement said.
Johnson was later admitted to the GPHC under guard, while four of the other men were detained, police said. One managed to escape.
Police said that during a search of Johnson’s house, four complete car doors and a rear bumper were found.
The force said that further inquiries led to the search of a house at North Ruimveldt, Georgetown, where the body of one of the stolen motor vehicles and a number of parts that had been stripped off were found. A man was arrested there.
The other five men are in police custody assisting with the investigations, police said.
Persons who said they were at the scene of the shooting however gave a different version of events and insisted that Johnson was unarmed and could not have shot at the ranks. One lady recalled hearing three gun shots and when she peeped out of her house she saw Johnson on the ground and the police standing around him.
“The police lie that boy didn’t have no gun,” another person related. “All that happen is gunshots and we see the police and Belly on the ground. He didn’t shoot them. They shoot him three times…one in he foot, hand and near he ribs.”
The person alleged that the police shot at Johnson and he fell to the ground.
“No gunshots pass from the guy…it was all the police. And the police said `Belly show we where the thing deh before we carry you to the hospital’”, the eyewitness recalled overhearing a policeman say. He said that the Johnson, who lives in Belair Park, would visit his brother on the ‘dam.’
“They just come and shot at him and then they lock up his brother and another friend,” another person said.
In 2008, Johnson and six other men were charged with a 17.2 million payroll robbery from GuySuCo. He was also charged with the December 2005 Fort Island, Essequibo Island robbery when over 10 million dollars was stolen.