Shot-to-head Parika taxi driver spots, chases shooter

-suspect remanded to prison

Weeks after being shot to the head at Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo, taxi driver Ramesh Persaud spotted the alleged gunman in a Parika drugstore and pursued the fleeing suspect for miles until the man was caught by police.

The man, whose identity Stabroek News was unable to ascertain, was charged and appeared at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court on December 12 and was remanded to prison.

Persaud, 20, of Parika Backdam sustained two bullet wounds to his ear and the back of his head after he was shot on November 15. Robbery did not seem to be the motive for the shooting as the man’s cash and the gold jewellery he was wearing were still intact.

Ramesh Persaud
Ramesh Persaud

He was at the Parika junction when a man, who appeared to be in his early 20s approached and hired him to go to the new housing scheme at Zeelugt. The man, who was dressed in a brown three-quarter pants, grey t-shirt and a pair of slippers, had his cap pulled down in front of his face. He entered the front seat and then asked Persaud to pick up another passenger at a Chinese restaurant nearby.

Persaud had informed his older brother Roland who was there, that he was going on the job. Roland was shocked when his brother called him around 9.40 pm telling him that he had been shot. The shooting occurred at the Zeelugt scheme while Persaud was dropping off the passengers. He had turned back the car in the scheme after the ‘passengers’ told him they wanted the first street.

When he stopped they asked him the fare and he responded $1,500, but instead of paying, the one in the front seat fired a shot to the back of his head. The wound started to bleed and Ramesh slouched on the steering wheel and pretended to be dead. He heard when one of the men said “make sure he dead” and another shot was fired at his left ear. A few minutes later when he felt safe, he called his brother to let him know what happened and said he was trying to drive to the hospital.

After he was discharged, Persaud was in a drug store at Parika when the man who had hired then shot him, entered the building. When the suspect spotted Persaud in the store, the man ran out the building and boarded a taxi which sped away heading in the direction of Georgetown.

The wounded Persaud, determined not to let his attacker flee, entered his vehicle and relentlessly pursued the car. He also contacted the Leonora police station who called for back-up from officers in Parika. The speeding car was stopped by officers in the vicinity of Tuschen and the suspect was arrested.

In the presence of the police, the man questioned Persaud as to whether he was certain that he was the person who shot him. The taxi-driver was adamant that it was him and he was arrested and charged.

Since being discharged from the hospital, Persaud has attempted to work periodically since his mobility is not much affected. However, he still suffers bleeding from the wounded ear and has also become deaf in that ear. A bullet is still lodged in his neck and doctors are afraid to remove it because of the area where it is located – close to his spine. His family is hoping that in time the bullet might shift which would allow for a safe surgery in removing the bullet.