Killing of Better Hope construction worker remains a mystery three months on

A shot on a dark, rainy night…

Daniel Nandlall

Three months on, the police are no nearer to solving the fatal shooting of 29-year-old construction worker, Daniel Nandlall at Better Hope, East Coast Demerara.

Relatives of Nandlall had been fearful from the outset that the police might be unable to build a case in the baffling incident.

Nandlall of Lot 21 Lalchand Street, Better Hope was shot on April 28 while sitting with relatives under his premises.

Alisha Douglas, a cousin of Nandlall had related to Stabroek News that around 11 pm on the fateful Saturday she, her father, Nandlall and another person were sitting and talking when she saw her cousin turn his chair and begin to speak to someone.

Although she could not hear what the person was saying, Alisha had stated that she heard Nandlall say to the male voice, “Come back tomorrow, de man nah deh heh.”  It was then, she stated that, Nandlall got up and tried to go towards her and she heard a gun go off and saw him fall flat on the ground.

Alisha had said that she then began to scream “thief!” and went to look out to see who the shooter was but saw no one. “I have no idea who the person was because I didn’t see anyone or heard what they said to Nandlall but, I can say it’s a male voice”, Alisha had stated.

When Stabroek News visited Nandlall’s house after the shooting, his relatives related that they were  puzzled as to what might have led to the incident.

They said there were many instances in the past where Daniel returned home late but was never attacked. “He does come in any hour ah de night. We got music set, so we does play out and come in any hour, door does open and nobody don’t try nothing”, Daniel’s cousin Abdool Majeed had said.

“We find it very strange because he was right there sitting in the yard and this happen”, the man added.

The family is continuing to call on the police to thoroughly investigate the matter so that the perpetrator can be caught.  “The only hope we got is that the police do their job”, Simon said, while noting, “we hope that the police gie we some sort of justice, pick up some sort ah clue or something”.

“Me ask all body down the road, if anybody see anything and so, but duh night rain been fall hard suh everybody been inside, lock up early”, he added.

Majeed said they have checked constantly with the police to no avail.

At the time of the incident, relatives said Daniel had just returned home after dropping off his girlfriend. He was accompanied by several persons including his father, Simon Nandlall.

Simon said as is customary most Saturday nights, a friend of his would come over and they would sit and chat over two beers. “So me go inside fuh de beer, then me come out back but whilst me go in me hear the gunshot”, Simon said.

Before he went inside, he said he heard the sound of a bicycle on the road. But this he said is normal since persons would be going back and forth on the road mostly on bicycles. “The rain ah fall and the bicycle been a mek a noise, suh normally when them hour dah ah night when you see or hear something ah pass pun the road yuh does peep out so we peep out fuh see who ah pass because yuh gah deh pun the alert tuh. When meh see one man riding, passing by, yuh see he from the back, he got on a hoodie thing like. Me nah tek he fah granted suh me see he ride pass suh be time we walk in hay suh (the house) me hear one gunshot fire and me run out and the girl (Daniel’s cousin) start scream”, Simon explained

He said it appears as though the gunman did not realize Daniel had company since the place was dark. “It look he nah realise that we sit down underneath deh (the house), he thought was he alone because this light did shut off”, he said. “Me seh man abe nah gah long more because ah 11 o clock already suh one next half an hour abe guh close up”, he added.

He said Daniel did not consume alcohol but he was just chatting with them. “When me come out, me see he (Daniel) lay down deh”, the grieving man related.

“Duh is a robbery”, Simon said. He related that this is his belief  since he was told that the said suspect made an attempt on another resident in the street the said evening. “He (the suspect) mek attempt pun one other man down the road and the boy run in he yard”, he said.

“When the gunshot guh off the boy (the other person attacked) run over and tell me is two ah them, (suspects) cause them mek it pun he and he run in he yard”, Simon added.

Electrical appliances

Majeed said Simon repaired electrical appliances in the said yard and persons were known to visit and make enquiries but not at such a late hour.

As such, he said it is suspected that the gunman enquired about something after which Daniel was shot.

“But like he (Daniel) went pun the phone texting, suh when he realize he just talk to somebody like he go fuh turn around and probably when he turn around he probably see the gun; it was probably already drawn so by time he fuh get up from that chair, they pull the trigger and that’s how he got shot”, Majeed explained.

He said those who were present with him on that evening did not hear the conversation clearly or see anybody since it was raining heavily.

Delay in receiving medical attention

Shortly after the shooting, Nandlall was picked up and taken to the Woodlands Hospital where the family had to make a down payment of $60,000 for him to see the doctor.

 They were however unable to make a financial arrangement for surgery. Without the funds, Nandlall was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) by an ambulance where he was pronounced dead.

Alisha had told this newspaper that her cousin was shot in the back and the bullet lodged, causing internal bleeding.

Majeed expressed concerns about the manner in which Nandlall was treated when he was rushed to the Woodlands Hospital while noting that there was a delay in Nandlall receiving medical attention.

He said if the doctors there had at least tried, relatives would have been satisfied.

“When they went down to Woodlands, when I call them. The brother (Nandlall’s brother) seh they now reach and they seh they at the hospital they gone call …back”, Majeed recalled.

As a result, he said he asked them to return a call after they checked Nandlall in. “Half an hour pass and they aint call back. So I try get on back onto them, when I get on back to them they seh that how they don’t have no doctor”, he added.

According to Majeed, several minutes after, he was informed him that they lodged $60,000 and the doctor had arrived. “Then they seh that the doctor came and they have to pay $560,000 cash before he operate, so I seh ‘buddy tell the man (doctor) money there, tell the man money deh, leh he do the operate, yuh can’t find that money at that hour in the night’”, Majeed said.

He explained that while all this was happening Daniel was lying on the stretcher and complaining that he couldn’t breathe but no one paid him any attention.

Majeed said all this time he was communicating with his relatives via telephone since he was overseas. “When I on me phone I seh like we aint got no more option hay”, he noted.

He said a cousin even signed a paper and lodged her national ID card to guarantee that the remaining money would be paid the following morning but still Daniel did not receive any medical attention.

At this point, Majeed said about one hour and a half had elapsed with no progress so he advised his relatives to call an ambulance and take Daniel over to the Georgetown Public Hospital. “That was after an hour and a half, struggling fuh breathe. By time he reach at public (GPH)  then is when he passed away”, Majeed said.

Majeed said following the incident, he went into Woodlands Hospital to enquire about the emergency process and related to the hospital administration what transpired but was told that management was not aware of the situation.

As a result, Majeed said he was asked to draft a  detailed document of everything that transpired and return to the hospital. “I wasn’t here so I went there because I was very angry but although I told them, they still wanted it written”, he said.



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