The family of Reona Payne, the woman who was shot and killed on Saturday during an argument with her common-law husband, GDF Captain Orwain Sandy, believes that she had kept them in the dark about the problems in her relationship.
They also believe that Reona’s drive for betterment had created tensions with Sandy.
“She start to build her house and she use to say how she use to help this boy (Orwain) but now is time for he to help she back and he don’t”, Reona’s aunt Taneisha Payne told Stabroek News yesterday.
The woman said while Reona showed no signs of abuse, they shared a very close relationship and she would often times try to convince Reona to tell her what was happening in her life but she refused.
“I talk to she (Reona) like couple minutes before I get the news and she tell me she want I come collect something in town but when I go she workplace she aint went there and when I call she back, she tell me she did crying so I ask she what’s wrong and she just tell me call she back like in five minutes”, Taneisha explained.
The woman said when she tried calling her back she got no answer and subsequently learnt of the incident. “We got a family friend who is in the police force so he tell we Orwain shoot he wife, so I was angry but didn’t know was her until the officer confirm”, the woman said.
Taneisha expressed shock that Reona never confided in her despite their close relationship. She said she used to see Reona almost every day but after she moved to live with Orwain in Providence this changed.
“She is not that type of person everyone saying but I remember I use to always tell she I don’t like that boy (Orwain) he too selfish base on how I see he use to behave”, she noted.
“Reona hide stuff from her family and we didn’t expect this”, Taneisha said.
She said apart from relatives, she is unaware if Reona ever confided in any friends via social media site, Facebook. “It got to be things did going on and she didn’t tell we, she just tell friends or whoever, because I see she did send somebody (a) picture of her eye swell up on Facebook”, Taneisha related.
She explained that often times Taneisha would be the one progressing and this would cause problems with her and Orwain. “Apart from the house they launch this car rental thing at this wedding expo and I was surprise that she didn’t turn up for the launching”, Taneisha said. “It had to be something went down between the two of them mek she didn’t come”, she added.
Reona, 32, a travel agent at the Muneshwer’s Travel Agency, was shot and killed around 10.15am on Saturday following an argument with Sandy who later turned himself into the police.
Stabroek News had previously reported that the incident occurred at First Street, Alexander Village, after which Sandy drove himself to the Ruimveldt Police Station and informed the police there of what transpired.
He also handed over the suspected murder weapon and was subsequently placed in custody.
Although both Sandy and Reona were married to other people, they were living together for about five years at Sandy’s Lot 771 Providence, East Bank Demerara home.
In a statement, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) had confirmed that Sandy was immediately interdicted from duties and announced that an inquiry has been launched to determine the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting.
“The Force is truly saddened by this occurrence and would want to reassure the general populace that this is an isolated incident and is not reflective of the Values and Standards of the Guyana Defence Force,” the statement had noted.
It added that the Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West has since ordered the Inspector General of the GDF to conduct a board of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
This newspaper was told by friends of the couple that they had been experiencing problems. Sandy has claimed that Payne was involved in a relationship with another rank of the GDF.
Reports had revealed that around 8am on Saturday, Sandy and Reona left home in his vehicle, PWW 7163, for her workplace. On their way, an argument reportedly ensued over the woman’s other relationship and Sandy instructed her to end it.
He drove to Independence Boulevard, where he collected a tent he had taken for repair and then he proceeded to First Street, Alexander Village.
Sandy has told investigators that it was at this point that Reona reportedly held on to the steering wheel of the vehicle and removed Sandy’s firearm, which was between the two front seats. She reportedly threw the firearm through the window and began to scream.
However, Sandy stopped and exited the vehicle to retrieve his firearm. As he was returning to the vehicle, Reona reportedly jumped out and began to run east along the street.
Sandy then shot her multiple times about her body. He then drove to the police station.
Reona’s husband Beverny (only name given) had told reporters that he was aware of the couple’s problems and would constantly talk to them. “I talk with them. He is a soldier and she should be strong enough to walk away from the problem but she chose to stay,” Beverny had said.
He had explained that their three children were staying with Reona and he only collected them on Thursday. “Soon as I collect my children, he kill their mother. What is that?” he cried, before adding that Sandy “must be [made] a living example” lest the wrong message is sent to society.
“I just hear shot, shot, shot, so I didn’t know what really did going on and I get so scared I sit down flat on the floor. When I catch myself and ask a man he tell me watch the girl [Reona] just get shoot,” a resident of the area had told this newspaper.
Meanwhile, a snackette owner who operates in the street where the shooting occurred said he was attending to customers when he heard the gunshots. “I didn’t hear any argument or so before. When I get to know is when I hear the shots and I see the man [Sandy] mek one turn back with the vehicle and he drive out straight deh [pointing to the street leading to the police station],” the man had said.