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Shawn Brown, two others killed in siege of Prashad Nagar house


By

Samantha Alleyne, Nigel Williams and Iana Seales

June 6, 2003

Guyana’s most wanted criminal, Shawn Brown, was among three men killed yesterday during an explosive two-hour siege of a Prashad Nagar home in which three grenades were lobbed at a police/army team.

The safe house of the bandits



The shoot-out in Deobi-rana Street and Amla Avenue yesterday afternoon created chaos in the area with residents running to and from the scene.

Dead are Mash Day prison escapee, Brown, his brother-in-law Dillon George and another man identified as Wendell Robin. Two policemen, including one named only as Outar, who was shot in the thigh, were wounded and are now in city hospitals. One 19-year-old woman received a gunshot wound to the shoulder apparently from a stray bullet fired into her home.

A police press release said arms and ammunition have been recovered while two women were taken into custody.

After the three men were confirmed dead the forces made further sweeps of the area including a thorough search of the house in Lamaha Gardens outside of which Brown’s fellow prison escapee, Dale Moore was killed last year. Brown is the fourth of five prison escapees to die by the gun. The 5th escapee, Troy Dick, is still at large. Brown and other wanted men were forced to leave Buxton/Friendship after the police and army intensified operations there over the last month or so.

Forces get tip off and move in...

F
Sources told Stabroek News that law enforcement officers received information that Brown and his accomplices were hiding out in a home at Lot 112, Amla Avenue and they immediately rushed to the area and cordoned it off.

But as the officers took up positions at about 4.30 pm they reportedly came under heavy gunfire from the house and they responded.

In the ensuing gun battle Brown and George somehow escaped and scaled a fence, entering an abandoned home in Deobirana Street. They then engaged officers on that street in an exchange of gunfire. Stabroek News was told that the officers were not aware that the men had entered the house but had still thrown up a cordon. It was reported that as soon as Brown and George saw the lawmen on the street they opened fire at which time the officer was shot. The police immediately retaliated with heavy gunfire and Brown and George were fatally hit.

Sergeant Standford Conway of the GDF told this newspaper that the army had learnt about the incident at about 4 pm. He said it immediately sent out troops to support the police and its helicopter which was seen flying low over the houses.

Two schoolgirls trapped in house...
He added that according to information he had received three young women, one of whom had a close association to the three men, had entered the house just before the shooting. According to Conway, the woman, who is said to be older than the others who are 18 and 19, told the teenagers that Robin was her brother and that he had just returned from the United States and she was paying him a visit. Stabroek News understands that both girls were lured into accompanying the woman. Conway told this newspaper that the teenagers said that they both had written Social Studies CXC examinations earlier yesterday.

Stabroek News was told that when the young ladies entered the house on Amla Avenue, the woman introduced them to Robin and she then whispered a few words to him. She then left the home, telling them that she was going to buy some food.

According to information, when the woman came back the policemen had already surrounded the house. It was reported that when the gunfire erupted the frightened teens clung to each other and immediately asked Robin whether he was a bandit. They had not seen Brown and George yet, but the two men came out of a room and began firing shots back at the police, before sneaking through the back door and into the other house on Deobirana Street.

While Brown and George were away, the teens began to cry and Robin at that point told them to pray, while assuring them that he was not a bandit. From all indications, Robin was not armed and as soon as Brown and George ran into the other house, the gunfire stopped at which time the young women emerged from the house surrendering themselves to the police.

The wounded teen, who sustained a gunshot wound to the left shoulder, told this newspaper she was in her home when she sustained the wound. She said upon hearing gunshots she lay flat on the floor and shielded her little brothers aged two and eight months. It was then a stray bullet struck her within inches of her siblings.

She recalled that prior to her being hit the gunmen had left their house and jumped into her yard while returning fire.

Workers hiding under desks
When Stabroek News arrived, pandemonium had gripped most of the Campbellville area with residents running out of their homes from as far as Newtown, Kitty. Others more curious were running towards the gunfire.

Workers in business places nearby said they took cover under desks as the gunfire sounded as if it was in the compound.

Policemen were seen at every corner with their guns drawn, some out of police clothing while others were in uniform, some with high powered weapons, other with small pistols.

Numerous unmarked police vehicles and officers on motorcycles raced through the avenue. Word eventually spread that three men were dead and that Brown was among them.

After the word got out about five police vehicles packed with officers raced through Stone Avenue and into Pike Street.

Police jubilant
A
short time later some of the same ranks were seen running through Pike Street and Amla Avenue with their guns drawn as if looking for more criminals. Some in the crowd thought the men had got away.

But soon after, officers were celebrating. One officer, sitting in the back of a vehicle thrust his fist in the air and shouted, “Yeah! Police kill bandit!”

Reporters were denied entry into the heavily guarded houses. Police had to search one of the homes with flashlights since there was no power. In front of the house in Deobirana Street there was a large pool of blood.

Meanwhile, a large crowd gathered at the Georgetown Public Hospital awaiting the arrival of the dead men and went into a frenzy when the hearse arrived.

People flocked to get a glimpse of the bodies which were briefly displayed from the back of the hearse.

One woman, who persons identified as the reputed wife of Dillon George, broke down after viewing the bodies. She was too distraught to speak and leaned against a post staring aimlessly.

The shoot-out yesterday followed the deaths of six men on Wednesday morning in Friendship in another confrontation with the police and army. Among the men who died was another notorious criminal Romel Reman.

Public Enemy No. 1
Only days ago, US federal authorities issued a warrant for Brown’s arrest as a material witness in the kidnapping of US Embassy diplomat, Stephen Lesniak earlier this year.

Along with four others, Dale Moore, Troy Dick, Mark Fraser and Andrew Douglas, Brown shot his way out of prison on February 23, 2002, killing one prison officer and seriously wounding another.

Dick is now the only one still alive from a gang which wrought havoc on the nation over the last fifteen months. During that period 21 police officers, two CANU officers, one prison officer and one soldier died.

Brown is said to be wanted for over twenty murders, about fifty robberies, and a series of kidnappings.

A senior police officer said that his rap sheet was so long it could almost make a book. He was also implicated in Tuesday night’s wounding of Shawn Hinds. A little over a year ago and also in Prashad Nagar, Brown and his accomplices escaped a police dragnet. They were thought to be hiding out in a house in Premniranjan Place on May 4 after committing a hair-raising robbery the day before. After the surrounding the house, police discovered that the men had fled.

George, who was married to Brown’s sister, was only freed of a murder charge on April 6 this year. He was found not guilty of the December 4, 1997 murder of Mahaica Guyoil gas station owner, Haraindra Nauth.