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Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Teixeira confident Waddell murder will be solved

Minister of Home Affairs, Gail Teixeira yesterday said she is confident that the police will solve the execution of talk show host Ronald Waddell and indicated that persons have been coming forward with information.

Police had recovered nine 7.62 spent shells at the scene and have been working to find the weapons that were used.

Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, the Home Affairs Minister said that several persons witnessed the shooting of Waddell yet some of them are not coming forward.

She said this could mean that persons are afraid or are not willing to testify.

The minister indicated that on the night of the Waddell shooting, which occurred fairly early in the evening, there were several persons liming on the seawall in the vicinity of Waddell's Subryanville home.

According to Teixeira a few youngsters had flagged down a police patrol that was passing minutes after Waddell was gunned down and pointed the ranks to the bullet-riddled car of the talk show host. She said ranks responded swiftly to this but by the time they lifted Waddell from his car and placed him in the police vehicle, the youngsters had vanished.

However, even after this there were a number of persons sitting on the seawall and at least three cars were parked on the northern side of the East Coast highway just in front of Waddell's home. It is not clear whether the occupants of the cars were questioned by the police at the time. Stabroek News had seen the car owners leaning against their vehicles and observing the scene from that distance. In relation to persons who have given information so far, Teixeira said they all did so under the condition of anonymity. She had told this newspaper already that police have been working on a few leads and yesterday she reiterated this, saying that certain information has been coming in. Teixeira declined to comment on the progress the police have made so far in their investigation. Senior police sources had told this newspaper that the names of two persons have been handed to them. One of the men, a former murder accused is considered a 'hit-man'. The other man has links with the police force.

Questions have been raised as to whether the police would consider external assistance to solve the case, Teixeira said the police have not indicated to her ministry any need for external assistance. While the minister did not rule out external assistance as an option, she said the police would have to request such help.

Teixeira said that she is confident that the case would be solved, although more than a week has passed and no one has been charged. She said the case has generated a lot of public interest and from her observation a lot of people want it to remain on the front burner.

The Guyana Police Force has a dismal record with regard to solving high profile murders.

There are numerous cold cases from the past three years and the executions of Waddell, and Christopher St Hill who was found dead in his car on Sunday on the Turkeyen Access Road, have attracted major interest.

Relatives had told Stabroek News on the night of Waddell's killing he was leaving to go out around 8 pm. Before he left the house, the relative said, Waddell closed up the house and departed. Stabroek News was told that Waddell went through the gate, closed it and sat in his car.

No sooner had he done this, than a bright light appeared in front of his Subryanville yard and gunshots followed. Reports are that a dark-coloured car took the gunmen to the scene.

The car was reportedly parked on the northern half of the highway facing east and its occupants were apparently watching Waddell's movements from the seawall. According to reports, as soon as Waddell stepped into the car, the two gunmen ran across the road, stood up and opened fire on the vehicle. They then ran back across the road, jumped into their car and sped away east along the highway.

Waddell, 57, a father of four was a controversial figure on television for his political views, which often drew strong criticisms from some persons. He had praised the work of the armed resistance in Buxton and often spoke out on discrimination against African Guyanese.

Waddell was cremated last Saturday at a funeral attended by thousands. Waddell's mother had said that he knew that he was going to be killed and was preparing for it.

She told Stabroek News that her son had received several death threats and last year gunmen had showed up at his home.

Meanwhile, relatives of St Hill of Sophia, Greater Georgetown continue to lament his execution.

Relatives complained that a vehicle belonging to a policeman was involved in St Hill's murder but the police have since said that they knew nothing of the killing.

St Hill was before the court for shooting at a police car in Albouystown last year. His relatives said that a senior police officer was in the car at the time and since the incident the officer has been after him.

However, residents of Sophia who knew St Hill well told this newspaper that the 24-year-old father of one was an armed robber who was linked to members of a city-based death squad. Residents said too that the dead man was very talkative and he may have been saying too much in relation to Waddell's killing resulting in his execution.

St Hill's mother, Cheryl Browne had told this newspaper that her son may have had friends in the squad but was not involved in their activities.

St Hill reportedly went to a horse racing event at Ogle on Sunday and was returning to the city when men in a car intercepted him somewhere around the UG Access Road and took him into the Turkeyen Road where he was executed. Police are investigating the matter.

Stabroek News