A businessman of Parika Outfall, East Bank Essequibo was gunned down around 9:45 pm on Saturday; the lone shooter escaped with four gold chains but relatives believe robbery was not the motive.
Seeram Singh, 52, called ‘Brother See,’ a fuel dealer, also suffered a stab wound to his abdomen along with the gunshot injuries to his right ear and lower back.
He was taken to the Leonora Cottage Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Three suspects, including two females have been taken into custody. Residents said that about half hour before the shooting, one of the women, a former partner, was overheard telling Singh, while on her cell phone: “I would stand right here and see you get your dead.”
At the time she was in front of a shop close to the man’s home. Residents also recalled seeing a “strange man” walking around in the neighbourhood two times on Saturday.
His daughter, Alesha recalled that his phone rang and he took the call and went out on a bench under a tree by the roadside.
Shortly after, the killer, whose face was covered with a rag, walked up to Singh who was known for wearing a lot of gold jewellery and dealt him a stab to his abdomen.
His daughter said she heard someone shouting, “give me yuh chains” and her father started to scream. She looked out but could not see clearly what was taking place because of the darkness.
A resident said he saw Singh running and then the first shot was fired. He kept running and collapsed a short distance away. The attacker then stood over Singh and fired two other shots.
It was then that the attacker ripped off the gold chains and escaped through an empty lot in the direction of the sea dam where he had come from.
A live round along with three spent shells were recovered at the scene. Relatives said the gunman left behind Singh’s eight gold rings he was wearing, along with his wallet that contained cash and his car keys.
Alesha said after she heard the shots she ran to the gate to investigate. By then the residents came and informed her that a man had shot her father and taken away his gold chains.
She rushed out of the yard and saw her father lying in a pool of blood. She also noticed more blood oozing out of his nose and mouth.
A resident said that he called the police around 9:50 pm but they came almost one hour later.
“The officer first told me that the vehicle don’t have gas. Another time she said there was no police and the last time she said the constable was on the way.”
After the police came, he said, they had to borrow torchlights and “took another 20 minutes discussing their search options.” They searched the area quickly but came up empty-handed.
The resident was disappointed too that he called four taxis and none of the drivers was willing to transport the man to the hospital. After waiting in vain for about 10 minutes a worker attached to another fuel dealer decided to take him.
According to the resident, “The 10 minutes would have been precious to him… He could have been alive…”
Residents described him as a “good man. He always helped people and was active in church.”
They said too he was hardworking and started off “pushing cart in the market and worked his way up.” He also had plans to reopen his grocery store.
The residents called for the area to get street lights, lamenting that about $4M worth of fuel would be loaded on one boat daily.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the man was arrested about two weeks ago after an allegation and in relation to a generator. Police had also searched his house in relation to an investigation. Singh was detained but released later the same night.