Family members believe Joseph Mahadeo’s death was no accident.
Police are investigating reports that the 46-year-old man of Parika Backdam, East Bank Essequibo, died after he accidentally shot himself to the chest.
But Mahadeo’s sister, Devika, is contending that the reports cannot be true.
“Why would he do something like that? He’s going to work in the backdam to earn a living, to make sacrifices for his children. Why would he do something like that?”
She claims the “bossman” never contacted the family to inform them of the incident. Additionally, when the brothers went to the crime scene with police, the officers reportedly prevented them from taking videos and photos. Moreover, she says the officers are not listening to the family’s concerns.
Mahadeo was a father of seven children, the youngest just some six months old.
Mahadeo was employed with the ANGCAM Mining Company, located at Goat Creek, Essequibo River.
Reports are that on Wednesday about 17:00h, Mahadeo along with a driver attached to the same company and a painter from Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD) were travelling on a motor tractor when the vehicle began experiencing mechanical problems some four miles away from their campsite.
The driver then sent Mahadeo to their camp to contact the company’s General Manager, so that he could send the equipment necessary to repair the tractor.
INews was told that upon hearing about the situation, the General Manager gave Mahadeo the key to his office so that he could retrieve the item needed to repair the tractor.
According to Police, the General Manager usually kept his licensed firearm – a single-barrel 12-gauge shotgun – in his office. However, Mahadeo allegedly removed the weapon along with shotgun cartridges.
He then left the key to the office on a nearby table, left the campsite, and went back to the location where the tractor was parked.
The tractor was subsequently repaired and the trio continued their journey back to their camp.
According to police the painter was sitting on the left fender of the tractor while Mahadeo was sitting towards the front of the tractor on two pails and had the gun positioned between his legs. The Police were told that the butt of the gun was resting on the floor of the tractor while they were travelling.
However, about 20:00h, when the trio were about one mile away from their destination, a loud explosion was heard, and the driver and the painter saw Mahadeo leaning towards the right side.
According to the driver, he immediately stopped the tractor and checked on Mahadeo who was bleeding from the left side of his chest. Police ranks were summoned to the scene. When the officers arrived at the area, Mahadeo was seen motionless at the front of the tractor, with a visible injury to the left chest area.
Mahadeo was clad in a black jersey, black long pants, and a pair of long boots. In his right pocket, three live shotgun cartridges were found.
The shotgun was seen lying on the trail some 10 feet behind the tractor. The weapon had one 12-gauge shell in the chamber. Mahadeo’s body was transported to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, West Coast Demerara (WCD), where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
His body is presently at the Ezekiel Funeral Parlour awaiting a post-mortem examination.
Meanwhile, the firearm, three live 12-gauge cartridges and the 12-gauge shell have been lodged at the Police Station. The dead man’s co-workers are in custody as Police continue their investigation.