A fisherman was shot and robbed of $7 million in cash along the Cove and John Public Road, East Coast Demerara yesterday, less than an hour after he had withdrawn the money from a commercial bank.
The attack on Eddy Brandon, called ‘Stevo,’ 50, of Cove and John, was carried out by two men around 11.50 am as he and his daughter were making their way home after exiting a Route 44 minibus that they caught after leaving the bank.
Brandon attempted to fight off his attackers but was shot once to his left leg and he was gun-butted in full view of his daughter, Analisa, 17, after refusing to hand over the envelope containing the cash.
Following the attack, Eddy was rushed to the Nabaclis Health Centre by a police patrol and was later transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), where he was treated before being discharged.
The bandits arrived and fled in a silver Toyota 212 car, which is suspected to have been driven by a third accomplice. Up to press time last evening, there had been no arrests.
The Guyana Police Force, in a statement, said that its investigations found that the Brandons visited a commercial bank along the East Coast of Demerara and withdrew the cash.
“As they were walking through an Access Road, leading to their home, the suspects exited a motor car and relieved the victim of his property and escaped in the said vehicle,” the police said.
Stabroek News was told by Eddy that he and his daughter made the withdrawal from the Republic Bank branch at Mon Repos and then joined a Route 44 minibus. They subsequently disembarked and it was as they were walking towards their house that they were accosted by the two robbers.
“…Two guys came to me with a gun. They shoot two times in the air or three times and he shot me on the leg and he pull the envelope away from me,” the still visibly-traumatised Eddy, whose shirt was stained with blood, recounted. “Suh, I seh, ‘Man, how ayo guh tek meh money away? Why yuh doing this, man?’ And one of them seh, ‘Shoot he in he head, shoot he man, shoot the man in he head.’ And some of the money fall on the ground and they scramble it up and after all the blood start meh daughter seh ‘Daddy give them! Daddy give them the money!’ And they enter back the vehicle and get away,” he related.
An eyewitness, who wished not to be named, said she was raking grass outside her yard when she noticed the car approach and park a short distance from the front of her house. “That is normal, so I didn’t really take it as nothing. I didn’t even know was a robbery until I see the two boys [suspects] run out the car and run behind the girl and she father… they did just come out the bus. I see when they cross the road,” the woman said.
She said she ran into her yard and started to scream. “I seh this got to be a robbery after I hear the shots then I see a set of $5,000 bill fall down on the road,” the woman added, while noting that the bandits hurriedly grabbed the money off the road and rushed back into the car.
‘All the money gone’
Eddy said the men stole his savings, which he was going to use to build a house for his two daughters.
“The money was to build a house and we had to go and buy stuff and suh I seh man instead of going to the bank and bringing out every time I just mek one draw and nobody won’t know that this money would be home, only me and meh daughter know, now all this tragic gone and happen,” he lamented.
“Now all the money gone and I don’t know what to do. The place that I am living in when rain fall the whole place ah soak, so I was going to build a better house for me and meh two daughter,” Brandon cried. “I wuk suh hard fuh duh money… I work to save and build a house because my wife is not with us anymore and I want make a nice home for them. All the money gone. Me ain’t know wah more fuh do,” he added.
The family related that Eddy is still trying to come to grips with the death of his wife, who he only buried on Sunday.
Eddy and his family believe that the crime was the result of inside information provided by bank personnel to the perpetrators. “It got to be they get information right from the bank, right inside the bank, because me and me daughter lef home and we ain’t tell nobody where we going and it was from to the bank, do what we had to do and go home back,” he said.
“They coulda kill he tuh… this got to be information coming from inside that same bank,” one relative added.
Investigators have retrieved three .32 spent shells of a small calibre weapon from the scene of the crime.
When asked why he used public transportation and not a taxi given the amount of money in his possession, he said that was his plan but he saw the bus just after he exited the bank and he boarded it and sat in the back seat.