A Venezuelan woman, who was residing in Guyana with her boyfriend, is now dead while he is nursing a gunshot wound to his foot after the duo came under gunfire by five armed men at Wenamu Riverfront, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
Dead is 28-year-old Valentina Marelis Pacheco. Her Guyanese boyfriend was identified as 28-year-old Mark Anthony Gonsalves, a miner of Mabaruma, North West District, Region One (Barima-Waini).
INews understands that the shooting incident occurred between 00:35h and 01:00h on Saturday.
Reports are the couple was at Rock Landing, Kaikan, at the Wenamu River at a shop near the riverfront when Gonsalves noticed a light shining from the opposite direction which is the Venezuelan side of the order.
According to information, it is customary for persons from Guyana to cross the border and transport persons from Venezuela to purchase items at the shop where the couple was at the time.
According to Police, Gonsalves, thinking that it was passengers who needed to cross, decided to cross the border with a paddleboat to transport the persons. However, when he arrived at the other side of the border he noticed a Venezuelan male, who told him that he wished to purchase a pack of cigarettes and alcohol.
Police said that the Venezuelan man then told the Guyanese miner that he needed to “wait for about a minute” so that a few other men could arrive to “pay with the gold”.
However, as Gonsalves waited, he observed five more Venezuelan men emerging from the bushes armed with high-powered rifles. Police said that the men immediately opened fire at the Guyanese man, prompting him to plunge into the water and swim to Guyana’s shores.
After climbing out of the water and standing on Guyana’s side of the border, Gonsalves said he felt a “burning sensation” on his right foot, and then became aware that he was bleeding from a suspected gunshot wound.
He said mere seconds after he exited the water, the men continued shooting in his direction from across the Venezuelan territory. Gonsalves’ girlfriend then rushed to his aid to help him get to safety but in the process, she was shot to her nasal region. The bullet exited the back of her head, killing her instantly.
Gonsalves then managed to make his way to the Kaikan Police Station, some miles away from the area, and made a report about the incident. He was immediately taken to the Kaikan Health Centre for medical treatment where he was admitted. Gonsalves is in a stable condition.
Police in Guyana have since launched an investigation into the shooting.