A man was shot dead during the wee hours of yesterday morning by the owner of a Subryanville hotel, where he had pursued a worker who tried to defuse a row between him and his girlfriend.
Dead is Jason De Florimonte, 30, of Lot 96 Fifth Avenue, Subryanville, Georgetown, who was a driver for Top Brandz Distributors.
De Florimonte was shot four times in his chest after a confrontation with the owner of the Tourist Villa hotel, located at Lot 95 Fifth Avenue Subryanville, Kitty, Georgetown, obliquely opposite to his house.
The hotelier, who has been identified as Erwin Bacchus, 45, of Lot 260 B Fifth Avenue Subryanville, Kitty, Georgetown, was arrested and was in custody up to press time last evening.
The shooting took place around 1.45 am.
A police source told Sunday Stabroek that investigators learned that De Florimonte and his girlfriend, Christine Rambarran, 24, had a misunderstanding outside his home yesterday morning after an evening out together.
Terrance Newsun, 29, a handyman at the hotel, witnessed the commotion from the gate of the hotel and he intervened.
As a result, De Florimonte turned his attention to Newsun, who ran into the hotel with the man chasing after him.
While there, De Florimonte then had a confrontation with Bacchus, a licensed firearm holder, who eventually shot him.
The hotel was tightly secured yesterday but blood stains were still visible on the parapet as well as in front of De Florimonte’s house.
At the house yesterday, a number of family members and friends of the dead man gathered in a state of shock. They vented their anger about the manner in which De Florimonte was killed and called for justice.
“I don’t want vengeance. I don’t want more than what was given but I need the law to take its course and Mr Bacchus should face the force of the law as to what he did. He is a licensed firearm holder and that comes with responsibilities,” said Wemyss De Florimonte, the dead man’s aunt.
She voiced her fear that Bacchus could end up being released without charge. “There will be a whole hue and cry for now and then thereafter, it will die down and then I will see Mr Bacchus over there again, that is my fear,” she said.
“From I saw this morning, the lawyers that turn up… then they called the police back and the police came back to the scene after all the investigations were supposedly finished. They had that power to call the police and the police come back to the scene and did whatever again and I am afraid the money will enable this to be pushed under the rug,” she added.
The woman, who lives at the same property as her nephew, recalled being awakened by her son, who alerted her that someone was shot in front of their yard.
She said her son heard the gunshots from his bedroom. “By time I jump up and look over the verandah, I see the girlfriend that he [Jason] has come inside, screaming, ‘They shoot Jason!’” she added.
She said she then rushed out of the yard and saw Jason’s body in a pool of blood. “…I go outside, I saw him lying motionless. This was like a minute between the gunshot and the time I ran out and he was like gasping for breath,” Wemyss said.
The woman said Bacchus is well known to her since he rents a section in front of her yard for a car rental business. She said he admitted to her that he shot De Florimonte. “He said, ‘Um….well I didn’t know what happened’ and then he said, ‘I had to shoot him! I had to shoot him! He reel up! He reel up! I had to shoot him,” she recalled.
Wemyss said she then requested that her neighbour call an ambulance and the police.
She said the police were the first to arrive at the scene and acknowledged their efforts in trying to transport Jason quickly to the hospital. “They really did a good job trying to get him quickly to the hospital but he was pronounced dead,” she noted.
She further stated that after leaving the hospital, she went to the police station. There, Wemyss said she gathered some additional information as to what transpired based on the statements given to the police. “So from the statements, I heard they said that the woman, the girlfriend [Rambarran], was arguing on the bridge and he [Jason] pushed her down and this handyman [Newsun], which is the owner handyman, ran over from the hotel and said, ‘Lef she alone,’ and whatever and, of course, Jason said, ‘Stay out my story’ and you know… they quarrel and she left and walked up the road, ’cause she said she was going home and then the altercation meet over somewhere across there [the hotel] and according to them, he and the boy had whatever, and Bacchus decided [they said] to shoot him”,” Wemyss related.
The aunt told this newspaper that Jason and Bacchus always had problems with each other and these were exacerbated due to an allegation that latter made about three months ago.
Wemyss described Jason as a “normal young man,” who was the father of three sons, all under the age of 10.
“Like every young man, he had altercations with his women or whatever but anybody could tell you Jason is the most respectful young man you would ever find… I am not saying he is an angel, he had altercations with his women or whatever, but that’s inside story,” she noted.
She explained that while Jason and his wife were separated, they were still trying to work things out. “Every weekend he is with his wife… so while they had their issues, they were still trying to work it out,” she added.