De Velde shooting linked to dispute among ganja farmers -police

A man has been detained in connection with the shooting incident that occurred De Velde Village, Berbice River, last Wednesday, which police say is linked to an apparent dispute among several alleged ganja farmers.

Public Relations Officer of the Guyana Police Force Jairam Ramlakhan, in a press release issued yesterday, said that a team of police officers, headed by Deputy Commander of ‘B’ Division Edmond Cooper, visited the area on Friday and their investigation determined that there was no robbery.

“…the alleged shooting incident was not robbery related but is linked to an apparent dispute of a drug related transaction among several alleged cultivators of cannabis sativa,” the release said.

Stabroek News had previously reported that around 8.30 pm on Wednesday, six men, who were armed, attacked homes owned by Kenrick Lindie and his son, Reyon Lindie, and robbed them of an undisclosed amount of cash and other items.

This newspaper was told that the gunmen reportedly went on a shooting spree after the senior Lindie sounded an alarm to alert his neighbours to the presence of the six men.

However, when contacted yesterday afternoon, Cooper refuted the claimed robbery and the wild shooting. “I myself was there. That was not a robbery,” he said.

Kenrick Lindie had told this publication that he was reading in the bottom flat of his home when he noticed a masked man approaching him with a gun. Shortly after, he said a second masked man, armed with a crowbar, also approached.

He had explained that as the men approached him, he slowly stepped backwards. He said as they spoke among themselves, they turned away from him and he used the opportunity to run. “When they turn they back, I run and started shouting, calling out everyone in the village. They ran behind me but I had no other alternative than to run into the river for safety,” he explained.

He had further said that as neighbours became aware of the invasion and turned on torch lights to see what was unfolding outside their homes, the gunmen began to shoot wildly in a bid to scare them.

Kenrick said the men continued to fire shots throughout their attack and that his daughter-in-law, Patrina Lindie, was wounded by a pellet, while the windows of his home were shattered.

“After I run away, the men went upstairs to my wife and ransacked the house and took away some things. But they dragged my wife out of the house and took her over to my son’s house, where they shoot up also,” he had added.

He noted that the men tried to break down the door of his son’s house but they were unsuccessful.

Based on his account, his son refused to open the door of his house to allow the men to enter but did hand over an undisclosed amount of cash to them. He said the men also stole a quantity of fuel before escaping in a boat that was nearby.

Kenrick noted that the men left the boat to drift in the river and from all indications boarded their own boat, which was parked some distance away.

The man had also expressed concern over the slothful response by the divisional police.

“I want to register my concern because it was no ordinary robbery scene. Gunshots firing and nobody could have done anything to help. We called the police and report since last night [Wednesday night] and they said they coming tomorrow [today]. What is that? What are we supposed to do if these men return?” he had asked.

However, Cooper had told Stabroek News on Thursday that the police were unable to journey to the village after they received the report since they had to make the necessary arrangements for travel.

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