Seawall shooting: “Eyewitness” surfaces, contradicts police report on killings

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Two weeks after the three men who were killed by officers at the Kingston Seawall over what the Guyana Police Force described as a foiled robbery attempt, an alleged eyewitness is now saying that based on what he saw, the suspects may have been executed by the police.

The damaged unmarked police vehicle

The alleged eyewitness, at a press conference held earlier today, identified himself as Devon Lyte, a construction worker of Mc Doom, Greater Georgetown and was in the company of prominent lawyer Nigel Hughes, who is also representing the family of Dextroy Cordis- one of the men killed- who are claiming that the men were murdered by the police and should be brought to justice.

Lyte claimed that on the day Dextroy Cordis also known as Dutty, of Grove, East Bank Demerara, Kwame Assanah, of Buxton, East Coast Demerara and Errol Adams also known as Dynamite were fatally shot, he was working on the roof of the Guyana Softball Association on Carifesta Avenue and would have witnessed the incident, which based on his account is vastly different from the statement issued by the police.

The black vehicle the suspects were using and which was being driven by Kwame Assanah

Attorney Hughes who was for the most part speaking on behalf on Lyte said, among other things, that “there were two vehicles, the black vehicle which had the now three deceased in the front which was being followed by the silver [police] vehicle, he [eyewitness] hears banging looked west saw the road was blocked off by the police, those two vehicles were driving east along the Seawall road, gunfire erupted… the car in front stopped, the driver of the silver car got out walked to him, put him [Assanah] on the ground, was actually assaulting him on the ground and then after that there was gunfire…at the time the gunfire erupted he (officer) was physically standing over the guy who was on the ground.”

It was also relayed that there was no motorcycle at the scene with a fourth rider who got away. This is in contrast to the statement issued by the police.

Additionally, the purported eyewitness in a written statement related that the roads leading to the seawalls were blocked to vehicular traffic prior to the alleged shootout.

Lyte said that while he witnessed the event, he could not state whether shots were fired at the police, nor if the three suspects were armed.

(L) Attorney Nigel Hughes and the alleged eyewitness Devon Lyte

According to Hughes, who noted briefly that he interviewed another eyewitness, the facts presented by Lyte seems to suggest that this was an execution.

Hughes also posited that he will be taking Lyte to the CID Headquarters this afternoon so that he could provide his information with the police.

He noted that one of the reasons why the press conference was held before taking him to the police was because he wanted what Lyte had to say out in the public, “so you don’t get the police version of what he is alleged to have said to the police…Clearly there are people whose interests are going to be threatened by what he has to say.”

Hours after the shooting to death of the three men, the police in a statement related that the men were followed by an unmarked police vehicle after they were seen trailing a customer who had left the Scotia Bank on Robb Street, Georgetown.

The police claimed that in the vicinity of the seawalls, the men in the black Toyota car opened fire on them and in retaliation, they returned fire fatally wounding them.

The police in a subsequent statement issued today (Monday) said that Lyte went to the police station around 16:45hrs and in the presence of his attorney submitted “a copy of the statement, which he issued earlier to the Crime Chief, Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Williams. During this process it was discussed and agreed for Devon Lyte to return tomorrow to be interviewed by a Senior Detective in the presence of his Attorney.”

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