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Two escapees among seven killed
- sniper rifle, grenades, `walkie talkies' found in city house
By Wendella Davidson

The arsenal and other items found by the Police during the operations.
TWO of the February 23 prison escapees were among seven persons killed in separate shooting incidents in the city and on the East Coast Demerara yesterday morning.


Police Commissioner Floyd McDonald, at a news conference at Police headquarters at noon, reported that six persons had died, including dangerous prison escapees Dale Moore and Mark Fraser.

A man who was shot in an incident on the East Coast and hospitalised, died yesterday afternoon, becoming the seventh fatality in the drama that began before dawn.

Mr. McDonald said Police had also uncovered an arsenal of heavy weapons, `channa bombs', grenades, `walkie talkies' and cell phones, among other items within 36 hours of operations which began on Saturday last.

Two of the books found in a house used by the bandits.
The Commissioner who said Police are facing a "serious problem", said they were still in the middle of their operations, which included the use of tracker dogs to hunt bandit/bandits wounded yesterday.

McDonald reported too that businessman Brahmanand Nandalall, also called `Bramma', proprietor of Keishar's Store, Camp Street, Georgetown, who was abducted by gunmen on Thursday, was "alive and out of captivity".

Dale Moore was identified as one of two persons found dead in a shootout in Lamaha Gardens, Georgetown, while Mark Fraser was one of two persons found dead in a car after an armed confrontation between the occupants of two cars travelling in opposite directions on the East Coast Demerara.

The other dead are Lancelot Roache, found in the car with Fraser on the East Coast; an unidentified gunman found at the Lamaha Gardens scene; another fully clothed and wearing a green bulletproof vest found lying on his back in Le Repentir Cemetery, Georgetown, and an unidentified man shot dead in a house from where a grenade was thrown at the Police.

The car found in the garage of the bandits `safe house'.

A third person, identified as Franklyn Solomon, who was in a third car in the East Coast incident, was also reportedly shot and subsequently died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

It is yet to be determined whether Solomon was accidentally caught in the crossfire or was in any way involved in the shooting incident.

McDonald said the arsenal found at the various scenes included:

** 13 firearms: one 9mm Highpoint Rifle, Model 995; one 12 Gauge Maverick Shotgun, Model 88; one 9mm Uzi, Model 61; two 7.62 x 51 mm FN rifles; one 223 Ruger Rifle, Model AC 556; one 7.62 x 39 Model M 70 Assault Rifle; two 270 Winchester Raptor Rifles with telescopic sight; two 9mm MAC 11 semi-automatic pistols; one 9mm Glock Pistol, Model 17; one 9mm Tanfoglio Pistol, Model TA 90.

** 45 magazines consisting of 33 M 70 magazines; eight FN Magazines; one 223 Ruger magazine; one Glock Magazine; two 9mm MAC 11 magazines.

** Three fragmentation grenades.

** One flare.

The safe house of the bandits.

** Ammunition - 2,778 rounds of .62 x 39; 68 rounds 7.62 x 51; 103 rounds of .30; 19 rounds 270; 29 rounds 45 calibre; three rounds of .38 Special; one round of 380; 44 rounds of 9mm; 51 rounds 12 gauge and four rounds of 223 along with a suitcase containing `channa' bombs and one salt bag with Channa (chick pea).
Included too and which were also displayed during the news conference were two bibles - a red and a black; a quantity of medical supplies; three books `The Illuminati 666 Book 2'; `The Antichrist 666 Book 1' and `The Philosophy & Opinion of Marcus Garvey'; one flop hat; cell phones; a card containing two bottles of `Potable Aqua' emergency drinking water; seven Motorola hand-held `walkie-talkie' communication sets (four medium and three small), and four pairs of number plates PHH 1643; PHH 6872; PHH 3783 and PHH 6393.

Commissioner McDonald gave the following chronology of events:

** 06:00 hrs Saturday October 26 - Police based on intelligence, arrested a suspicious-looking 22-year-old man of Buxton at the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling. A search of his person unearthed an FM rifle which investigations revealed belonged to Constable Ramphal Pardat, called Clifton, who was one of three men killed last July in Rose Hall, Berbice, during a daring robbery.

The man also had a Smith and Wesson 9mm rifle, 38 rounds of 7.62 ammunition; nine rounds of 9mm ammo and a quantity of clothing.

Police are investigating for possible connection with robberies and murder including that of two Policemen. Pardat and Outar Kissoon were the two Policemen killed during the Rose Hall incident.

** 03:30 hrs, yesterday - members of a Police unit reported on radio that they were under gunfire from a car in the Bel Air/Lamaha Gardens, Georgetown area and requested tactical support. Ranks returned fire and subsequently discovered a body believed to be that of Dale Moore and later that of an unidentified male in the general area.

A search of a building which the gunmen allegedly occupied and from which they attempted to exit, unearthed an arsenal of arms and other items. A car with a false licence plate was also found at scene.

** 07:00 hrs, yesterday - at Annandale, East Coast Demerara, the occupants of two cars, a green and a white, approaching from opposite directions, engaged each other in gunfire. Two men said to be prison escapee Mark Fraser and Lancelot Roache of Lance Wireless Connections, Stabroek Market, the occupants of the green car, were killed. A .22 weapon was found on the body of Roache and an M .35 pistol on that of Fraser.

** 08:15 hrs, yesterday - Oleander Gardens, East Coast Demerara - a 9mm pistol and a hand grenade were found. Suspected to be either dropped from or discarded by one of two men who were seen hurrying from the city for the East Coast.

** Continuing their operations, Police stormed a house at Bonasika Street, Campbellville, Georgetown, were they found 12 channa bombs, a motorcar, a receipt for another car and four live rounds of ammunition.

** Police received a report that an unidentified, fully clothed male and wearing a green bulletproof vest was found in Le Repentir Cemetery. Police were still seeking to find out who the dead man is, how he received his wounds and whether he was part of any of the incidents and had escaped.

** In Lamaha Gardens, Police went to one of the targeted houses and were confronted by a grenade thrown by someone from the house. The Police retaliated with firepower and subsequently a man was found dead in the area. Police are seeking to establish his identity.

When the Chronicle arrived at the Lamaha Street scene of the shooting just before 06:00 hrs, just houses away from Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Ronald Gajraj's residence, Police had already cordoned off the area and a sizeable curious crowd stood on an opposite street looking on in awe.

A burgundy car with its bonnet smashed in was against an electricity pole from which wires dangled, and a Policeman was observed pulling the body of a gunman clad in black shorts and black vest from under the bridge of the yard of the home of a former public servant. Some spent shells were found at the scene.

The body of an accomplice lay on the parapet of the next door residence and blood was also splattered on the white concrete fence and behind it.

Just around the corner in a small ditch in the vicinity of a Guyana Water Inc. pump station was a green motor car PHH 4904, apparently discarded by the bandits.

The former public servant's house was riddled with bullet holes, the yard splattered with mud and on the parapet was a huge pool of blood.

Some three houses from nearby Duncan Street, a house said to be owned by a city realtor, was the safe house of the gunmen and the large cache of arms was found there, Police said.

McDonald confirmed that someone from the house was in Police custody assisting with the investigation.

There was no indication of how long the gunmen had been living at the house.

While at the scene, a female resident of Sophia reported that a bloodied shirt had been abandoned by a gunman in her nephew's yard.

According to the woman, the wounded bandit took a grey jersey belonging to her nephew off the fence and left his bloodied shirt behind.

McDonald said the Police were using tracker dogs to hunt the wounded gunman.

It was not long after media operatives had returned to Lamaha Gardens from Sophia that news of the discovery of the dead man in the cemetery was received.

The brown-skinned dead man who lay on his back was dressed in blue denim jeans, grey and red track shoes, black and red striped jersey and with a green bulletproof vest

McDonald, at his news conference, said that based on yesterday's findings the Police are facing "a serious problem". He said that the possession of `channa bombs' (bottle bombs) by the bandits is an indication of the level of operations which the Police have faced over the past seven months.

Referring to the sniper weapon found among the cache discovered in the Lamaha Gardens `safe house', McDonald pointed out that this was not the work of ordinary criminals.

He added that the Police were continuing their efforts in a bid to have all the persons in what may be a "seemingly large gang" brought to justice.

It was at this point that McDonald, in response to queries, said Nandalall was "alive and out of captivity" and that he may have had discussions with the Police.

He said he had no information whether he had been in custody of any of the men who were killed.

Fraser, other man killed in hail of bullets

POLICE and Army officers examine the two bodies in the bullet-ridded car on the Annandale road.
RESIDENTS of Annandale said that at around 07:00 hrs there was heavy gunfire from two cars which were driving along the Annandale public road.

The shooting lasted for about a minute and occupants of both vehicles were apparently exchanging gunfire, they said.

According to reports, persons from a white car fired several shots at a dark green Toyota motorcar, licence plate PHH 7248, which was heading in the direction of Buxton.

During the shooting the dark green car made an abrupt stop after the driver was fatally hit by bullets.

Another man who was in the front seat of the vehicle was also shot dead.

Police said the driver of that car was identified as Lancelot Roache while the other man in the front seat was positively identified as Mark Fraser - one of the five dangerous prisoners who escaped February 23 from the Georgetown Prison.

Both men were shot in the head.

Witnesses said there were two other persons in the back seat of the car who escaped during the shooting - one of them a man who was reportedly wounded.

The other, a 17-year-old girl, was also wounded and was in Police custody assisting with investigations.

Reports said there were what appeared to be bloodstains on the ground in the direction where the wounded man went.

As the man was heading east of Annandale, he was held by public-spirited citizens, witnesses said.

However, a group of people from Buxton went to the scene, demanded his release and he was whisked away into that village, they said.

A reliable source said there was ample evidence that the man was severely wounded. He was apparently shot in his right forearm, his right leg and there was a wound in his head.

"I believe this man was drugged. I can't imagine with all those injuries he was still able to make it in to Buxton as though nothing went wrong", the source said.

The two other motor cars which were reportedly involved in the shooting were a white Toyota Sprinter PHH 5642 which was left abandoned at the entrance of Agriculture Road, Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara and was under Police guard yesterday morning.

The other car, a light coloured Toyota Mark II apparently ran off the road and was stuck in a trench about 400 metres from the scene of the shooting.

There were no bullet holes in the two vehicles.

A resident in the area said several stray bullets shattered the glass door on the front of his house and penetrated sections of the front wall.

He said a bullet grazed his wife's right shoulder. She was taken to hospital, treated and sent away.

There was a heavy Police and Army presence at the scene of the shooing and a large crowd of curious onlookers.

Police, after taking the dead men out of the motorcar, recovered a handgun, a cell phone, a can of `Bass' spray and $2,000 which the man, identified as Mark Fraser, had on his person.


Tuesday, October, 29 2002