School of the Nations Director, Dr Brian O’Toole underwent surgery in the United States to fix his paralysed hand, which was sustained from a shooting some nine months ago at his home.
In a release, O’Toole stated that doctors have shared some pessimism about whether his hand will be completely functional again.
“Nine months following the shooting and I am in a hospital bed in New York recovering from another operation to try to restore the paralysed hand. The surgeon, however, is pessimistic about whether the function can indeed be restored,” he details.
The Director was shot on January 27, 2019 at about 21:44h at his Prashad Nagar home. Police reports stated that the 64-year-old man came home and secured his gate after entering. As he was about to open the door, a male suspect approached him, pointed a gun and discharged three rounds in his direction; two of which caught him in both forearms. During that time, the school had received serious threats believed to be the work of a student of Nations.
His wife, Pamela O’Toole, would have heard the shots and upon checking, made the discovery and he was immediately rushed to the Woodlands Hospital, where his condition was said to be stable.
Commenting on the matter, O’Toole said, “Nine months later and the boy in Florida that started all the mayhem with his vivid and horrific threats to violent action, given free play on social media, known to hundreds, if not thousands in Guyana, remains unpunished because he apparently told his FBI investigators that it was ‘all just a joke’”.
He also indicated that the US Embassy and the Guyana Police Force were engaged on the matter but the matter has gone ‘unheeded’.
“My letters to the American Embassy re this matter go unheeded only to be ‘assured’ by a five-line response months ago they are ‘looking into the situation.’….We contacted the Guyana Police again a few weeks ago with further information re the potential shooter. A one-line response was received thanking me for the information but, as before, throughout the nine months, no report of any follow-up”.
He added that the relevant authorities in Guyana have been provided with reports and allegations of drug dealing in a number of schools “but once again, we are given no information on any follow-up. Can the Police be surprised by the widespread reluctance on the part of thousands in society to share information with them? How long will we continue to blissfully ignore our young people losing their minds, their youth, their hopes for the future and maybe soon, if not already, their very lives in pursuit of dangerous chemicals that they believe will ease their boredom, isolation and sheer loneliness in pursuit of a fleeting high”.
The cyber-attack during that time came with warning signs from a social media account, believed to be created by students of the said institution. The posts started on WhatsApp and moved to Facebook, where threats were made to the lives of students. In one instance, two persons were mentioned in the online posts.