Mark Griffith, the man suspected to have been shot during an attempted robbery on Tuesday at the Giftland Mall Access Road junction, was recently sentenced in his absence to two years in jail on an armed robbery charge.
Guyana Police Force spokesman Jairam Ramlakhan yesterday confirmed that Griffith, 25, a resident of Street Anchor Village, East Canje Berbice, was charged in October last year with an armed robbery committed on a Bristol Street, Cumberland Village, East Canje, Berbice resident.
He had appeared before Magistrate Alex Moore at the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court. Bail was initially denied but it was later granted and Griffith was released in February. Stabroek News was told that following the completion of the trial in May, Griffith, who never returned to court after being released, was found guilty of the charge and he was sentenced. An arrest warrant would likely have been issued for him.
Griffith was allegedly shot on Tuesday morning after he and ex-prison officer Trydon Munroe attempted to rob the supervisor of an interior flight service.
Munroe, 24, of New Amsterdam, Berbice died after he was shot several times to his chest by a security guard escorting the intended victim, who was couriering parcels of cash and gold.
Hours after the shooting, Griffith had turned up at the Georgetown Public Hospital with gunshot injuries. He remained hospitalised under police guard up to yesterday.
The attack had occurred around 9.45 am on Tuesday while the supervisor and her security escort, who was armed with a licenced firearm, were heading back to Georgetown in a car after collecting several parcels from the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, at Ogle.
The police had said that investigations revealed that while the two were in the vicinity of the Giftland Mall Access Road on the Railway Embankment, a dark coloured car blocked their path and two bandits, who were brandishing firearms, exited the vehicle. The police said that the security escort drew his firearm and discharged several rounds that struck Munroe, who fell on the road. “The security [escort] then exited the vehicle and discharged his firearm at the other armed accomplice, suspected to be Griffith, who managed to escape on foot,” it added.
The vehicle that transported the bandits to the scene sped away during the shooting. The police, who responded promptly after a report was made, recovered a .32 pistol with three live matching rounds at the scene.
Stabroek News was told that during their journey back to Georgetown, the supervisor and the security escort suspected they were being trailed by a black car, whose occupants were acting suspiciously.
Reports are that while they were in the vicinity of the Giftland Mall Access Road, they were forced to stop due to the traffic congestion. It was at this point that they were confronted by the bandits. The men were reportedly unaware that their intended victim was accompanied by the security escort.
Munroe attempted to open fire at the security escort but his gun jammed and he was shot dead instead. The escort then turned to Munroe’s accomplice and opened fire. However, he managed to escape.
Munroe was dismissed from the Prison Service in March of this year for breaching the prison service regulations due to his delinquent behaviour.