A family’s preparation for a memorial service ended tragically early yesterday morning when bandits stormed into their home in East La Penitence and discharged several rounds, fatally wounding a man and injuring two of his brothers.
The robbery/murder occurred around 12:45 am yesterday at Lot 194 Freeman Street, where family and friends had been wrapping up their preparations for a memorial service when two bandits entered and robbed them of jewellery.
During the robbery, the bandits fatally shot Fazal Shaheed, 58, a father of one, of 18 Albion, Corentyne, Berbice and injured two of his brothers, Shalim Shaheed, 53, a father of one of the USA, and Talim Shaheed, 50, a father of three of Canada.
Raymond Shaheed, one of the brothers who was present during the gathering, told Stabroek News that about 25 to 30 family members and friends were present from about 4 pm on Saturday in preparation for the memorial service for their father, who died a year ago and which was to be held yesterday. He added that they were all busy catching up, since they don’t usually get to see each other, while preparing sweet meats and other items for the memorial.
Around 12:30 am, Raymond said that he, his wife, two guests and Fazal’s son, left the East La Penitence premises and went to his home. As he was about to get into his pajamas, he recounted, he received a call from a sister, who was screaming that bandits had just shot his three brothers.
Raymond said that he rushed back to East La Penitence where he learnt that his brothers had been taken by a taxi to the East La Penitence Police Station. Upon his arrival at the station he learnt that they had been taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital.
It was around quarter to two when he rushed into the hospital and discovered that Fazal, who had been shot several times in his abdomen, had already died and that Shalim and Talim had also been shot.
Shalim, according to Raymond, had to undergo surgery sometime yesterday and although he is currently in pain he and Talim are listed as stable.
He added that when the attack unfolded he was told by his sister-in-law that his mother, his sister-in-law, and her daughter were in the kitchen along with two of his brothers, while Fazal was outside washing up a few items.
The bandits, who were masked, Raymond said, entered the home without anyone hearing, and ordered his sister-in-law and the others to lay on the ground. Raymond noted that they are still unsure of exactly what was taken but can say with certainty that all of his brother’s wedding rings were stolen.
The bandits shot Shalim and Talim, who were in the house and he believed put up a fight, while Fazal was shot outside of the home.
Recollecting the events prior to the robbery and murder, Raymond said he recalled seeing what he would consider a silver grey Premio drive slowly by while he and other family members and friends were chatting outside. He said that he didn’t think anything of it and simply thought that the persons were a little curious about what was going on at the premises.
It was after the incident that he also learnt that there were two men on motorbikes, who rode by the home three times. The family, however, thought nothing of it at the time.
A family member, fighting back tears, said that if the bandits wanted to rob them they could have simply taken the valuables and not shot anyone.
The police, in a press release, stated that several spent shells were retrieved from the premises.
The release also noted that a male suspect from the East La Penitence area was taken into custody, yesterday, and is assisting with investigations.