A So Ruimveldt man was shot dead yesterday morning after he and an uncle broke into an Albouystown house to confront another man over a bicycle.
Dead is Michael Junior Payne, 27, a mason and vendor of Lot 364 Tucker Street, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown. Payne, who was shot to the forehead, chest and left arm, died at the scene. His uncle, who has been identified only as “Turtle” and is said to be a resident of Ketley Street, Charlestown, was arrested shortly after the shooting. He remained in police custody up to press time.
The fatal shooting occurred around 6.30am at the Lot 85 La Penitence Street, Albouystown apartment home of the alleged shooter, Sherlock McKenzie, called “Beggar.” Up to late yesterday afternoon, he was still to be apprehended.
A Guyana Police Force statement on the shooting said that around 10pm on Thursday, Payne tried to settle a heated argument between McKenzie and some other persons. During the encounter, he left his bicycle.
According to the police, Payne and his uncle went to McKenzie’s yesterday morning to retrieve the bicycle. “After they called and banged on his door repeatedly but got no response, they allegedly kicked down the door, entered the house, confronted McKenzie and a scuffle ensued during which Payne was shot,” the statement said.
When Stabroek News visited the scene yesterday, there were spots of dried blood still evident. Many residents were tightlipped about the shooting.
The property where the shooting occurred houses five apartments; four in the upper flat and one at the lower flat. The apartment occupied by McKenzie was tightly secured.
A tenant, who wished not to be named, said he had just woken up and was lying on his bed when he heard the men calling out for McKenzie. This, he said, was followed by constant banging on the door.
“I hear they saying, ‘Boy come out the house before we kill yuh.’ And afterwards, I just hear a loud bam that was when they kick open the door. After that they had scrambling because I coulda hear the movements and all I hear was gunshots ringing out and somebody fall down on the floor,” the man recalled.
Another resident said she was sitting on her stairs when she saw the two men entering the yard. One of them, according to her, had a long piece of iron in his hand. “How they come alone, you coulda see that they come to kill,” she said, while nothing that it was several minutes after they entered that she heard the gunshots.
At a family home of Payne in Charlestown, several family members and friends gathered.
They were heard venting their anger about the way he met his demise. “Is hard for a mother to bury she healthy son just like that… that boy didn’t had to go down suh,” one man was heard saying.
His cousin said she learned of the shooting after her son went to make a purchase at a shop in Albouystown. “The lady that does sell in the shop tell he let he come tell me that Michael get shoot,” she said. As a result, the woman said she immediately rushed to the scene, where she saw Payne’s lifeless body lying on the ground in the house, covered in blood. He was already dead.
Another relative explained that while she is not aware of the circumstances surrounding the argument on Thursday evening, she is aware that a group of men, including Payne and McKenzie, were liming on Ketley Street and they were involved in an argument that escalated into a scuffle.
“Right away them boys part them and so and try to settle the matter and after a while “Beggar” see Payne riding through La Penitence Street and he beat he up and take away his bicycle he was riding,” she said. “Is go back they did going back for the bicycle this morning and to tell he they thought everything settle since last night (Thursday) when this happen,” she added.
Acting Commander of ‘A’ Division Calvin Brutus and several other senior police officials visited the scene yesterday morning. Brutus told reporters that while the police do not have any eyewitnesses, there are persons in the area who have provided information that will assist with the probe.