Second bandit in Montrose raid was former UG student

The other man killed in the Montrose supermarket robbery has been identified as a former University of Guyana (UG) student, whose involvement in the crime stunned friends and persons who knew him.

Mahendra Sukull, 24, also known as ‘Vicky,’ of Rohinital Street, Prashad Nagar, Georgetown, was killed along with fugitive former policeman Warren Blue during the robbery on Monday evening, in which proprietress of the Lahago Supermarket, Latchmie Baburam, was shot by one of the two men.

Baburam, who was shot in her right thigh, remained hospitalised up to yesterday in a stable condition.

Mahendra Sukull
Mahendra Sukull

Hours before the robbery, Blue, who had been wanted in connection with the 2012 killing of Agricola teen Shaquille Grant, had visited Sukull.

He was spotted exiting a silver car and entering Sukull’s apartment on Monday afternoon, a source told Stabroek News yesterday.

The source informed this newspaper that Sukull moved into his Prashad Nagar apartment a month ago. That source added that Sukull was lately seen driving a silver/grey car.

His tight-lipped landlord only confirmed that the man lived there and she expressed her surprise at his death and the circumstances in which he was killed. The woman noted that Sukull showed no signs of any involvement in criminal activity.

According to an article published in yesterday’s edition of online UG student newspaper Splash, Sukull was a registered student at the university for the 2011/2012 academic year but he took a leave of absence that same year and had not returned to the University since.

A friend of Sukull, Dominic Narayan when asked to comment on the passing of Sukull, said he was “shocked beyond words.”

Sukull, according to an employee of supermarket yesterday, had been urging Blue to hurry up during the robbery.

The employee, who spoke with Stabroek News on the condition of anonymity, said the two bandits walked into the store. Blue, she said, approached her, brandishing his gun and he threatened to shoot her if she raised an alarm. The employee, who was still shaken up, also recounted that as Blue collected money from a safe, Sukull tried to hurry him up. Five minutes after, she added, “They start fire shots wild and run out.”

Meanwhile, up to yesterday there continued to be conflicting accounts about how Blue was killed and the number of persons involved in the robbery. Police investigators were yesterday seen in the area collecting statements from residents.

Although the police have claimed responsibility for the deaths of Blue and Sukull during a confrontation after the robbery, residents remained adamant yesterday that Blue was shot by private security detail, which was alerted to the robbery by an activated security alarm on the premises of the supermarket. They said too that Sukull had been later killed in the supermarket.

Police had said in a statement on the robbery that public-spirited members of the community and police ranks who responded quickly to the report confronted the perpetrators and there was an armed confrontation and the two suspects were fatally shot. Two unlicensed .32 Taurus pistols with five rounds were recovered by the police along with a number of .32 spent shells.

In addition, while police have stated that two men entered the supermarket, residents have said that three to five men might have been involved in the crime. Persons in the area said on Monday night that a third bandit managed to escape in a red car.

The idea of another accomplice in the robbery was also supported by the claim by a family member of Baburam that an undisclosed amount of money was missing. Police had said the robbers had taken $140,000 from Baburam.

Baburam, who was flocked by her husband, children, other family members at the George-town Public Hospital Corporation, said she was “miserable” after the attack. She told Stabroek News that she was still in the process of conducting the daily business when the two men entered the supermarket and started to demand cash.

Her daughter, Anupya, was also present during the attack.

“He pushed me and tried to jump over the cashier booth but I pulled him back and he elbowed me. After that she pelted him with a staple machine but I fell to the ground after he elbowed me. That how he got in contact with her,” Anupya recalled.

The two women tried fighting off the men with no success. One of the men eventually jumped into the cashier’s area and demanded the keys from Baburam, who said she did not know where they were. As a result, she was shot to her right thigh and also gun-butted to the head.

“It lasted for like five minutes because I hear the other one that was outside shouting and telling him time going,” she said.

The woman surmised that the bandits had a specific timespan to carry out the robbery.

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