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- victim recounts life-and-death struggle with attackers

A would-be carjacker was shot dead in South Ruimveldt Gardens at around 01:00 hrs yesterday during a life and death struggle with a driver from the Sheriff Taxi Service whom he and an accomplice were attempting to abduct and rob.

The bandit, who appeared to be in his late twenties, was shot in the face and back while attempting to force the taxi driver into his car trunk after stopping behind the South Ruimveldt Shopping Plaza .

He was killed almost instantly, while his accomplice fled through a nearby alley.

The slain man, who is of African ancestry, was still unidentified at press time.

He was dressed in a dark-coloured shirt, blue track pants and black sneakers at the time of his death.

Speaking to Kaieteur News last night about his ordeal, the driver recalled that the drama began when two men, who appeared to be in their late twenties, turned up at Sheriff Taxi Service's South Road base and asked for a vehicle to take them to South Ruimveldt Gardens.

He said that the men entered one of the vehicles that was parked at the base but then changed their minds after the driver indicated that he had to go to a filling station first.

“They say they ain't got time for that and they went to my car,” he said.

On entering the vehicle, the men indicated that they were going to David Rose Street, South Ruimveldt Gardens.

The driver said that he had no suspicion about his passengers, even when the passengers told him to turn left into Cane View Avenue , an area that is favoured by carjackers.

He said that the men then asked him to turn left into a street behind the South Ruimveldt Shopping Plaza .

The passenger in the front seat exited and appeared to be about to pay the fare.

The driver said that he was engrossed in collecting his money and so was unaware that anything was amiss until the other man also came out of the car and struck him on the forehead with a handgun.

“He hit me on the right side and said: ‘Come out of the f…ing car and get in the trunk'.”

Wiping at the blood that was streaming down his face, the driver staggered out of the car. He said that the gunman struck him on the forehead again and began pushing him into the car trunk.

“I start begging them to let me go and take the car…He go to lash me again and I grab the gun and we start struggle. I see is only one gun they had so I decide to take a chance.

“The other man say: ‘Shoot he', and the one with the gun say ‘No, don't shoot he here, put he in the trunk.' After they start talking about shooting I say is either them or me.”

He said that during the struggle the unarmed bandit was shot. “He ran (a short distance) and then fell. I managed to take the gun from the other man and he ran away.”

The driver, a father of two, said that police ranks who eventually arrived at the scene, retrieved rolls of duct tape from the dead bandit.

He believes that the men had intended to bind him with the duct tape and to eventually kill him.

“I would have been a dead man. I would have been in the freezer.”

According to a police statement, the unarmed bandit was shot in the face and back.

Police said the driver managed to relieve the man's accomplice of a Rossi .32 revolver. The firearm and four spent shells were later handed over to the police.

A South Ruimveldt resident who lives in the street where the bandit was killed said that he heard four gunshots shortly before 01:00 hrs.

He said his wife peered outside and saw one of the carjackers running towards a nearby alleyway. She recalled that the man was carrying a “silver” object, which might have been a handgun.

The man said that they then saw the taxi driver standing on the roadway, while the body of another man lay nearby.

According to the eyewitness, the driver told residents who had gathered around that he had a fight with the men and had shot one of them.

Residents said that they then summoned the police who eventually came and had the body removed.

Officials from the Sheriff Taxi Service expressed relief that their driver had escaped unharmed from his ordeal.

Carjackings have increased in recent years, with some drivers being abducted and killed.

Meanwhile, police are investigating the circumstances under which 22-year-old Sherwin Boston of Non Pareil Street , Albouystown, sustained a gunshot wound to the right knee.

Police said that Boston turned up on Saturday at a city hospital with the injury.

Kaieteur News