Two weeks after three men, who the Police said were suspected bandits, were gunned down on the seawalls, an eyewitness has surfaced claiming that the incident was really an execution.
Flanked by Attorney Nigel Hughes and sisters of one of the dead men, the eyewitness Devon Lyte, in a written statement recalled viewing the incident from the top of the roof of the Guyana Softball Association.
He said he was up there with two other workers effecting works to the roof.
According to the man, it was just before midday when he noticed that the Police had blocked off the road at the top of Camp Street. He said moments later, he heard shots being fired and when he looked across to the seawalls, he saw two cars driving along the seawall road.
“A black car was in front and it was being followed by a silver car. The shots were coming from the silver car. The black vehicle which was in front stopped, then I saw one person come out of the black car and stood up at the front driver side door. I then saw about one person come out of the silver car, he walked towards the black car. I then saw the person from the silver car start to beat the person who had come out from the driver’s side and was lying on the ground. He beat the one person while he was on the ground. Then after twenty minutes i heard rapid gunfire”, the eyewitness recalled.
The driver of the car was Kwame Assanah, whose family first raised concerns about the Police Force’s version of events. The man had no criminal or arrest record and worked as a taxi driver as he awaited a new job. He previously worked as a Security supervisor.
In his statement, the eyewitness also said that at the time when he heard the rapid gunfire, there was one person standing over the same person who was lying on the ground.
“About ten to fifteen minutes after the shooting, Policemen from Camp Street started to run up the road. There was a photographer with them. They went to the scene and I also saw the ambulance arrive”.
The young man said during the entire incident, he was working on the roof with two other workers. He also told reporters that he did not see any motorcycle or anyone riding off on a motorcycle during the shooting incident as claimed by the Police.
The Police in its official statement had claimed that its ranks who were trailing the black car had come under fire from the black car and just after engaging the two men and shooting them dead, two other men appeared on a motorcycle, opening fire on the Police.
The Police claimed that its ranks managed to shoot one of the men dead from the motorcycle but the rider was able to escape.
Although three men were shot dead during the alleged “shootout”, only one handgun was recovered at the scene.
Attorney Nigel Hughes who said he was retained last evening, said based on the statement from the eyewitness, it is clear that “it was an execution”.
He said regardless of the alleged criminal past of the men, the agents of the state have no rights to execute anyone. The Attorney said he has already spoken with the Crime Chief of the Guyana Police Force and will take the witness across to the Police today to officially hand over his statement.
Hughes was careful to point out that based on where the witness was working on the rooftop, he would not be able to say if the men in the car were armed or whether they ever engaged the Police. However, he said what is clear is the man’s statement that the person who came out of the driver’s side of the black car was gunned down by the Police who had already beaten him.
Hughes said he will seek the full post-mortem report. He said it is puzzling that there was a shootout but at least one of the men had ten gunshot wounds to his chest, while another had six.
Also puzzling, he said, is the Police Force’s statement that the men were tracing a bank customer who had reportedly withdrawn millions of dollars from the bank and went to the seawalls. He said that simply does not make any sense.
Family members of Dextroy Cordis who were at the press conference at the Attorney’s office, said they believe the three men were executed and they want justice.
See full statement by eyewitness below: