Bandit shot dead
Two Taurus weapons were recovered from the suspected dead bandit's home
Two Taurus weapons were recovered from the suspected dead bandit's home

…during confrontation with cops; guns, stolen articles recovered

A PERSON suspected to be a bandit has been fatally shot during a confrontation with police

The unidentified dead bandit
The unidentified dead bandit

early on Tuesday morning, and another has been arrested following a major police operation conducted in the West Canje area of Region Six (East Berbice/ C’tyne).

An assortment of stolen articles and guns were also been recovered at the home of a wanted criminal, who has been on the run since 2011.

The man was shot dead when police responded to a report of larceny of sheep at Vryheid Village, West Canje. Following that encounter, police were led to the home of Raymond La Fleur, a convicted murderer who has been on the run since 2011, when he escaped from the New Amsterdam Prison. There they arrested a man and seized a number of items suspected to have been stolen, as well as a firearm.

Up to late last evening, the body of the dead man, of African descent, remained unidentified at the Arokium Funeral Home in New Amsterdam. Police, in a statement, said the unidentified male had drawn a loaded firearm at ranks who were responding to a report of larceny of sheep ongoing at a farmhouse at Lochaber Village, West Canje, Berbice at about 06:20hrs.

Investigations have revealed that on November 12, 2016, a cattle and livestock farmer from Betsy Ground, East Canje, Berbice reported that a flock of 29 sheep was stolen from his ranch at Calabash Creek, East Canje. Based on information received, the victim and three police ranks, one armed with a service weapon, proceeded on Tuesday morning to a location at Lochaber Village, West Canje, where the victim positively identified twelve of his sheep tied at the back of a farmhouse.

The ranks then proceeded towards the entrance of the farmhouse, and were immediately confronted by a male who rushed into the house, armed himself with a handgun, and attempted to shoot the armed policeman who had followed him indoors.

The rank discharged his firearm several times at the suspect, and he fell. He was rushed to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival. The body is presently at Arokium Funeral Home, awaiting identification prior to a post mortem being done.

An unlicensed silver-coloured Taurus pistol and six live matching rounds were retrieved. The house was searched and the following articles were found: One Plum phone, two silver finger rings, one silver chain, one Compaq laptop computer and several electronic gadgets. The first four items were positively identified by one Ravendra Bipram, 27 years, of Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne Berbice as his property. He was allegedly robbed at gunpoint on November 11, 2016 at about 19:30h by a male fitting the description of the deceased. This had occurred on the Smythfield Access Road in New Amsterdam, Berbice, where the robber had brandished a silver handgun and had discharged a round in his direction.

The farmhouse is allegedly owned by La Fleur, whom police described as a known convict who lives at Mount Sinai, Greater New Amsterdam, Berbice.
Police said a team of ranks consequently went to La Fleur’s Mount Sinai home and arrested 28-year-old Mark Van Lewin of Sand Hills, Berbice River after an unlicensed Taurus pistol with ten (10) live matching rounds was found on his person.

The house was searched and the following articles were found: one (1) laptop computer, seven (7) cellular phones, a pair of binoculars, two (2) motor cycles, a motor car and a lighting plant. These were all taken into custody, but La Fleur was not at home.

Van Lewin reportedly told police ranks that he had attended a function the night before and had gone to La Fleur’s residence to rest.

Commander Adonis told Guyana Chronicle that the men, including the deceased, were part of a criminal network headed by La Fleur, which will be destroyed.

Police are inviting members of the public who were recently victims of robberies and breakages in New Amsterdam, Berbice to visit the Central Police Station in New Amsterdam in an effort to identify property that was stolen and recently recovered by the police.

Meanwhile, recounting details of the police operations, residents said they had observed several marked and unmarked police vehicles in the area just after 06:00hrs, and heard gunshots shortly afterwards. They said they were prevented from going close to the scene, but they observed the slain man’s body being wrapped in a sheet. Further, residents said the deceased was a stranger to the community, and was observed in the community about a week or so before his death.

La Fleur was one of four prisoners who escaped from the New Amsterdam Prison back in June 2011. A convicted felon, La Fleur had been charged with murder only a few days before he escaped. Known as Rickford Williams, La Fleur had been in jail for drug trafficking when he allegedly murdered another inmate, one Cleto, at the New Amsterdam Prison. He has a number of matters before the court, including robbery, possession of arms and ammunition, and throwing marijuana over the prison wall.


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