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Monday, February 06, 2006
Sophia man gunned down

A Sophia resident was yesterday found riddled with bullets on the Turkeyen Access Road, a familiar dumping ground for several men killed by members of a death squad not long ago.

Christopher St Hill, 24, was found in his car around 4:30 pm yesterday with several bullets wounds to his body. His face was severely battered and his clothes torn off.

Relatives say they have been told that three men carried out the execution. They have a licence number which is to be communicated to the police. The execution comes days after talk show host Ronald Waddell was gunned down in front of his Subryanville home.

Police in a press statement last evening said that around 2:45 pm yesterday members of the force driving along the Turkeyen Public Road, ECD saw a heavily tinted white AT 192 Toyota Carina, PJJ 2181 parked on the Turkeyen Access Road. Upon making checks on the vehicle, the police found the body of St Hill called `Ninety' of 'E' Field, North Sophia inside with several bullet wounds to the back and head.

St. Hill, the police said, had been in police custody on several occasions during investigations into various matters, including discharging a loaded firearm and threatening behaviour involving the use of firearms. His body is at the Lyken Funeral Parlour awaiting a post-mortem, the statement said, adding that the car was taken into police custody. The police said five spent 9mm shells and a warhead were recovered at the scene by ranks. The statement also said that contrary to reports carried by a certain television station last evening, which stated that St. Hill was shot by police ranks, "no such confrontation took place. St. Hill's wounded body was found by police ranks who became suspicious after observing the vehicle parked under circumstances which appeared to be unusual", the police statement said. Investigations are continuing.

Cheryl Browne, the dead man's mother however charged that members of the police force had their hands in St Hill's death. She said the car, PJJ 6607, belongs to a policeman who often harassed her son. Giving an account of what she was told, Browne said around midday yesterday her son left Sophia to go to a horse-racing event at Ogle on the East Coast of Demerara. According to Browne, St Hill borrowed her car, a white AT 192, PJJ 2181 and he, his brother and a friend departed. She said he was slated to return with a young woman who had agreed to comb her hair. Stabroek News was told that St Hill and the boys left for the horse race. When he arrived, the men came out the car and he was seen conversing for a while with a man before he left the horse race venue. On his way back to the city, Stabroek News was told that the suspect car, PJJ 6607, pulled up alongside the young man. The occupants, four of them then ordered him to stop. Once he stopped, three men jumped into his vehicle, one sitting in the front passenger seat and two behind. When the car got to the Turkeyen road, one of the men placed a gun to St Hill's head and commanded him to drive through the road.

He was shot several times in the car, Browne said, and the vehicle was locked up by the gunmen and left abandoned. Browne said she noticed around six shots on her son's back. She said his head was resting on the back seat of the car and his feet on the steering wheel. Moreover, the woman said it would appear as if her son had begged for his life as there were several shots under both his armpits. His face was bashed in, several of his top teeth were missing and clothes ripped off of his body. There was no bullet hole on the car, she said, but one of the windows was broken. Browne said she was home around 4:30 pm when she received a call that her son was killed at Turkeyen. When she arrived at the scene she said the police restrained her from going close to the car and when she asked why he was not taken to the hospital a police officer told her that a doctor had already visited the scene and pronounced him dead. Browne said she only got to see St Hill's body at the parlour.

She broke down several times when Stabroek News visited her Sophia home yesterday and had to be revived by relatives and friends. Asked about her son's lifestyle, Browne said he was not a bad person. "But the police them always harassing he, whenever they come in Sophia to carry out them raids them always arresting my sons them," Browne complained. The Turkeyen Road is a familiar dumping ground. Several young men were executed and taken to that road or at times taken there and killed. St Hill also leaves to mourn his daughter who will be two-years-old tomorrow and two siblings.

Stabroek News