Police kill two in Brushe Dam shoot-outs
-toddler grazed by bullet

Terror returned to Buxton yesterday as two men were fatally shot and a toddler wounded by a bullet as police and Guyana Defence Force Special Forces ranks raided the village in search of wanted men.

The two who were killed have since been identified as Orlando Andrews called 'Bullet' and Noel James called 'Baby', both of Friendship, ECD. Yesterday afternoon, a third man, Joshua Edwards of Company Road, Buxton was taken to the Georgetown Hospital after he was shot during the Joint Services operation. He was under heavy police guard as he was being treated. Another man who was held by the police has been identified as David Zammett and David Leander known as `Biscuit'. The police said that wanted bulletins were published by the police for Zammett and Andrews in relation to investigations into the murder of Agriculture Minister Satyadeow Sawh and his siblings.

Zammett is also wanted by the police in relation to investigations into the murder of Anson Melville at Friendship on 2004-01-11; the murder of William Adams called "Grego" at Friendship on 2004-08-02; and attempted murder committed on Randy Joseph at Friendship on 2004-10-04.

According to a police statement, around 10 am yesterday the Joint Services ranks came under fire from a group of armed men along Brushe Dam, Buxton. The ranks returned fire, fatally wounding Andrews who was hit in the right side of his chest, while the others managed to escape. The statement continued that around 1.30 pm the ranks cordoned off a house at Brushe Dam and while in the process of searching it came under fire from Noel James. Again the ranks returned fire, hitting James about his body. An unlicensed .38 Taurus revolver along with five spent shells were recovered by the ranks. According to the police, James was recently released from prison after serving a sentence for larceny. Andrews had been charged by the police for the murder of Troy Phillips on 2004-12-05 at Church of God Road, Buxton. He was also charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm on Dennis Daniels at Annandale, ECD, on 2005-07-11. In both matters arrest warrants for Andrews were issued by the courts. Further the police said Andrews was wanted for questioning by the police in relation to the murder of Anson Melville at Friendship on 2004-01-11; the murder of Davechan Appanna at Section 'B', Non Pariel, ECD, on 2004-08-17; and the murder of schoolgirl Christine Sukhra at Coldingen, ECD, on 2004-08-28.

Meanwhile a 19-month-old toddler was also wounded during the operation while sleeping in a chair in her parents' living room. Kenya Headley of Brushe dam was grazed on the right side of her neck with a bullet. She was treated at the Georgetown Public Hospital and sent away. Kamile Thomas, an aunt of the child told Stabroek News that she was in her kitchen when she started hearing gunshots which was nothing strange in the area. She said she then heard her niece screaming and immediately ran to her aid. "After I hear the gunshot I run in front to see Kenya because I thought was the gunshots that woke her up…I scramble her and run with her in the kitchen and stayed lying on the floor," Thomas recalled. Thomas added that after consoling the child she realized something else was wrong after the child kept crying and holding onto her neck. Upon checking Thomas said she saw the child bleeding from a wound on her neck. Thomas said that a shell was also found in her kitchen.

Disgust

Residents once again expressed their disgust over the manner in which the operation was carried out. "These people (Joint Services ranks), as a matter of fact the government, has no regards for the people of Buxton they just run in and start shooting and always claiming that is bandits they looking for," one resident said. Residents in the area said they no longer feel safe after yesterday's experience and the countless others in the past. "First was de police showing no heart now is dem soldiers. Dem run in dis man house and carry he away…then dem just lock up de house with dem two lil children inside," one resident said.

When Stabroek News arrived on Brushe Dam, members of the media were taken to a house where two infants between the ages one and three years were found locked in. According to angry residents, after army ranks searched the house a male was taken away and the ranks left the two infants unattended. Residents went to the children's rescue. The two boys were subsequently removed from the house without clothing. Angry residents then began inquiring from the army ranks who stood guard in the area armed with guns what should be done with the children since they had no relative around. One angry resident then placed the two naked infants in the tray of one of the army vehicles. This angered one of the army ranks who grabbed the children and put them out of the vehicle as they were screaming hysterically. Eventually the children were taken off the road by a neighbour. Also, too, during the operation parents were seen picking up their children from the Friendship Nursery school as gunshots were heard ringing out in the Buxton backlands. Parents said they are at their wits end with the police and joint services operations in the area. "These people show no regards for people's life…imagine this nursery school deh right here and dem man just carrying out dem operation all hours of the day…da last incident (Donna Herod's killing) ain't show them nothing, dem ain't mean fuh stop," one resident exclaimed.

Over recent years Buxton has been in a state of unrest after the law enforcement agencies declared the village a haven for criminal elements and have been trying to rid the community of the criminals. On September 4th last Donna Herod, a mother of nine, was killed during another joint services operation. At the time the police had said that the ranks were pursuing wanted men with whom they reportedly exchanged gunfire. Herod was shot while taking two of her children home from school. The investigation into her death has not yet been released to the public.

Sources told Stabroek News that following a visit on October 28 to Buxton, Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green wrote to Police Commissioner Henry Greene, Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Commodore Gary Best and Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee expressing concern over the manner of security operations in the village. Green said that the methods of arrest or rounding up were not conductive to winning the cooperation of law abiding citizens.

"As a first measure, I suggest you require of the ranks that operate in this community to observe standard procedures of arrest and investigation and have a responsible senior officer to ensure the appropriate behaviour of all ranks.

Generally, villagers feel they are being unfairly dealt with and seek equity and justice".