Teen shot to death by shop owner who told cops he believed youth was a “thief”

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eyewitnesses claim that businessman’s story is far from truth

A teenage miner was shot to death in the wee hours of this morning by a 42-year-old businessman from Tabatinga, Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), allegedly because the suspect was under the impression that the youth was a “thief.”

Deceased is 17-year-old Dane Jerrick of Lot 1 “A” Ann’s Grove, East Coast Demerara (ECD) who had been in the interior working on his father’s land dredge.

The businessman owns and operates a shop at the Puruni Landing, Mazaruni River, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).

At around 03:30h today, the 42-year-old man had been asleep in his bedroom when he was awoken by his 17-year-old son who had been screaming loudly that a “thief was in the house.”

The suspect, who is a licensed holder of a .32. Taurus Pistol, quickly armed himself and responded to his son’s shouts of an intruder inside their home.

He told the cops that he jumped through a window and saw Jerrick at the side of his shop “with something black” in his hand. Upon noticing the businessman, the now dead youth had reportedly began running along the nearby road and the suspect stated that this was when he fired four (4) shots in the teenager’s direction.

The man claimed that Jerrick continued running away from that location even after the rounds had been discharged.

However, the businessman’s claims are in contradiction to the stories of two eye-witnesses to the youth’s shooting.

They (eyewitnesses) told investigators that they had seen Jerrick moments before he had been shot; the now dead miner had reportedly been involved in an incident with some passengers on a truck that had been heading into the backdam.

The two persons related that the incident with those passengers occurred a short distance from the businessman’s shop. After the truck left that location, Jerrick had been standing near a vehicle about 70 feet away from the shop, when the suspect allegedly rushed out of his establishment with his gun in his hand.

The eyewitnesses claim that the 42-year-old shop owner discharged seven (7) to eight (8) rounds in the direction of Jerrick, who ran away from the scene in an effort to get to safety, but only made it a short distance before he fell down. It is alleged that this was when Jerrick died.

The two individuals also told the cops that although the 17-year-old fell to the ground after being shot, the businessman went over to his body, and kicked the youth to his face.

Police ranks were subsequently summoned to the crime scene and upon their arrival they observed a small wound, believed to be that of a gunshot, at Jerrick’s lower back in the region of his spine.

Seven (7) .32 spent shells were also found along the roadway in front of the suspect’s establishment.

The businessman was arrested and his firearm was lodged at the police station.

Meanwhile, Jerrick was escorted to the Bartica Regional Hospital, Region Seven, where he was pronounced dead. The body was then escorted to the Lyken Funeral Parlour where a Post Mortem Examination (PME) is expected to be conducted tomorrow (Monday).

Investigations into the matter are currently ongoing.

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