Armed robbery suspect shot and killed -two others flee -Bartician robbed of over $440,000

A resident points to one of the spent shells left behind from the shoot-out which ended with the death of Godwin Gibson.

Police yesterday afternoon shot and killed one of three bandits who had earlier robbed an employee of the Region Seven administration just as the man was about to leave the compound of the Public Service Ministry.

Dead is Godwin Gibson of Costello Housing Scheme. He sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his body as he hid in his neighbours' bathroom. He died before receiving medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Yesterday persons who knew him well admitted that he was involved in shady business for a long time.

His accomplices, also said to be known characters, fled the scene during a shoot-out with police who responded to the robbery and cornered them in Costello Housing Scheme.

According to a police statement, the regional employee, John McKenzie of Fifth Avenue, Bartica had just left the PSM building, Waterloo Street, Georgetown and was at the entrance of the compound when a gold-coloured car pulled up and stopped. One of the occupants confronted McKenzie with a gun and relieved him of a bag containing $414,000. The men then sped away.

Shortly after, a police mobile patrol observed a car fitting the description driving at a fast rate. The patrol, according to the statement, followed the car into Costello Housing Scheme where the men abandoned it. The police challenged the men, the statement said, but shots were fired at them. Ranks took cover and returned fire during which Gibson shot.

A sum of money suspected to be part of the booty, one .38 Taurus revolver with two empty casings and four live rounds of matching ammunition were recovered at the scene. Police have also seized the gold-coloured car, PJJ 5954, which according to reports belonged to Gibson.

At the PSM building yesterday afternoon a terrified security guard related that she was at her post when the bandits struck. According to the guard, McKenzie arrived at the ministry around 1 pm. She said from all indications McKenzie had just left the bank and had gone to the ministry to conduct other business. She believes that the bandits trailed him from the bank.

The guard noticed that as soon as McKenzie went into the compound the gold-coloured car pulled up; the occupants looked into the compound and the vehicle drove away. A few minutes later the car returned, the guard observed, and this time it parked outside the compound.

The guard told this newspaper she was a bit suspicious of the occupants' movements but, gave them the benefit of the doubt. In any case, she was unarmed.

Around 1.30 pm McKenzie completed his business at the ministry and was leaving. The guard could not say whether he was waiting for a taxi or some other vehicle, but he stood at the gate for a while and the two of them had a brief conversation.

No sooner had McKenzie finished talking with the guard, than the occupants of the car emerged and confronted him. "Give me all de money," one of them commanded holding what looked like a Magnum to McKenzie's head, the guard related. McKenzie handed over a black bag to them and they jumped into their vehicle and sped away.

An employee who was standing on the ministry's steps at the time witnessed the stick-up and immediately called the police. Ranks, according to information, did not bother to visit the ministry, but pursued the gold-coloured car.

A resident of Costello Housing Scheme said it was around 4 pm that the police finally caught up with the car. At the time, the resident said, only Gibson was in the vehicle.

He was cornered by the police while driving the car into his yard. However, he still managed to run away, an eyewitness said jumping out of the vehicle and fleeing with a bag in his hand.

Gibson, the witness said, made a dash into his neighbours' yard and ran into their bathroom. Police followed and fired several shots through the door; Gibson was hit on his legs, chest and abdomen.

One resident said Gibson was still alive when the police took him out of the bathroom and placed him in his own vehicle to take him to the hospital. Relatives said Gibson who is in his mid 30s worked his taxi for a living. But other persons said he used it mainly to transport criminals.

At his home relatives were in tears. They declined to speak to this newspaper.

A few months ago, police had cornered and kill two bandits in East Ruimveldt after they and two others had robbed Humphrey's Jewellery on Robb Street.

The police have come under intense pressure recently to stop a rash of attacks in the city which has seen groups of men in cars and on motorbikes seizing payrolls and raiding business places.

On the morning of February 18 this year, two armed bandits waylaid the pay clerk on the steps of the same Public Service Ministry grabbing a $675,000 payroll which comprised salaries for a section of the staff.

On that day one of the bandits went into the compound and told a female security guard he was going upstairs to see someone.

At the time the pay clerk was at the bank. The man waited on a bench in the building and as soon as the clerk arrived and was walking up the steps he attacked her. She put up a fight but with a gun pointed to her head she dropped the brief case containing the money into the bandit's hands. The robber joined his accomplice and the two of them ran out of the compound without the guard pursuing them.