Man critical, cousin injured after shot by police

L-R: Christopher Charles and Esther Wiltshire
L-R: Christopher Charles and Esther Wiltshire

Christopher Charles and Esther Wiltshire, who are cousins, were on Monday allegedly shot by police as they were searching for a missing relative in the community of Friendship, East Bank Demerara (EBD).

Charles and Wiltshire, who are both 20-years-old, were on the road with other family members and a group of police officers when the incident occurred.

According to the victims’ family, during the operation, Charles had an altercation with another man with whom he had old grievances with. The family said the young man had an object in his hand during the confrontation.

INews was told that as family members were trying to “calm down” the young man, two officers began pointing their guns at Charles.

The family member who spoke to this publication under the condition of anonymity explained that the cops demanded that Charles drop the item in his hand or they will shoot.
Charles reportedly complied with the order and surrendered to the law enforcement officers.

But family members said, despite this, the policemen began to beat Charles. As a consequence, the young man reportedly fell into a trench.

Whilst in the trench, Charles raised his hand once more, to surrender. He was then taken out of the trench by the cops.

At this point in time, family members began to plead with the officers to stop beating the young man as he had surrendered.

Notwithstanding their appeals, the family is alleging that the cops continued to point their guns in the young man’s direction whilst issuing threats to kill him.

“The officer put the gun to his belly and told him that he will shoot and kill,” the family member said.

The female cousin then put her hands around Charles’ waist, in a bid to prevent the cops from shooting.

But the family contended that the officers began to “get heated” and placed a gun to Charles’ abdomen. This resulted in the young man holding on the gun and pushing it away.
The family is alleging that one of the officers then placed the gun back to Charles’ lower waist and shot him.

“All of us fell to the ground because we didn’t know who get shoot. When we raise up, we see my cousin get shoot in his belly. The bullet passed through my cousin and came out through his butt,” the relative recalled.

Wiltshire was shot in her right hand, since she was hugging Charles at the time he was shot.

Charles is said to be in a critical but stable condition. He remains a patient at the Intensive Care Unit. Wiltshire was treated and sent home.

Efforts to get a comment from the Police on this issue proved futile.