GUYANA-Taxi driver survives two bullets to head
GEORGETOWN –– A teenaged taxi driver is currently in a critical but stable condition at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), after he was shot twice in the head last Saturday night, by one of two gunmen who led him to a desolate area in the Zeelugt Housing Scheme, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), with intentions to kill him.
It seemed that the two gunmen only wanted to kill taxi driver Ramesh Persaud, since they did not take his cash and jewelry, which exceeded $100,000.
Persaud was extremely lucky, since the bullets did not damage any vital organs in his head.
One of the bullets is still lodged at the back of his head while the other was surgically removed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, where Persaud is a patient.
Doctors say it is too risky to remove the remaining bullet at this time.
Speaking from his hospital bed yesterday, the 19-year-old Persaud, who lives at Parika Backdam, East Bank Essequibo, said he was “shot for no reason” because the gunmen did not rob him.
He said, at the time, he had in his possession, a gold chain worth $30,000, a gold ring worth $15,000, a gold band worth $15,000, a Backberry Curve cellular phone worth $20,000 and $60,000 cash. He insisted that he never saw the gunmen before and seemed baffled as to why they would want to kill him.
Persaud also insisted that he was not involved in any “bad business” that could put his life at risk.
The teenager explained he was hired by one of the gunmen at the Parika junction around 9 p.m., and was requested to drive to a nearby Chinese restaurant to pick up another man.
After he made the pick-up, Persaud said that the gunmen requested a drop-off in the Zeelugt Housing Scheme, EBE. He noted that one gunman was in the front passenger’s seat, while the other was in the back seat of the vehicle.
Lured into the trap, the teenager said that he entered the village, unsure of where the men were going.
“They didn’t tell me where they were going, so I just drove in the village. I drive and pass the first street and was going to pass the second corner but they stopped me there and told me to turn around the vehicle and put them off at the first street,” he related.
Persaud said he proceeded with the drop-off, although he found it “strange” that the men would disembark at the head of a street. He stated that when he reached the drop-off point, the gunman in the front seat inquired about the fare, and shortly after, the gunman in the back seat fired a shot behind his head.
“When I turn around to stop them off at the first street, the one in the front seat ask me how much is the fare. I told him $2,000. A couple seconds after, I was shot behind my head by the other gunman in the back seat,” he said.
Amazingly, Persaud survived the gunshot and “played dead” by slouching on the steering wheel of his vehicle, so that he would not be shot again.
The young taxi driver said that as the men exited the vehicle, he overheard the gunman who was sitting in the front seat of the vehicle telling the other gunman to “make sure he is dead”.
Consequently, when the other gunman exited the vehicle, he approached the driver’s window, and discharged another round to Persaud’s head.
Miraculously, Persaud was able to survive the ordeal and the men fled the scene.
After the men ran away, Persaud said, he gathered enough strength to drive all the way to the “Boraserie Bridge” in Parika, where he eventually called his brother and informed him about the incident, before he collapsed.
According to his brother Roland Persaud, “Ramesh was found at the Boraserie Bridge covered in blood” and was immediately rushed to the Leonora Cottage Hospital, West Coast Demerara.
The teenager was subsequently transferred to the GPHC shortly after, where one of the bullets lodged in his head, was surgically removed. Persaud is now awaiting surgery to remove the other bullet that remains lodged in an area close to his ear. His mother Amilia Persaud and father Looknaught Persaud described their son’s survival as “a miracle from God”.
The matter was reported at the Leonora Police Station and investigations are ongoing.
Meanwhile, as the police were responding to the scene of the shooting their vehicle struck down David Dhanraj, 38, of Greenwich Park.
Police in a statement said they were investigating the fatal accident that occurred at about 11:05 p.m. on Saturday on the main road at Greenwich Park, EBE, that resulted in the death of Dhanraj.
According to the police, a constable was driving a force vehicle along the roadway when it is alleged that the pedestrian attempted to cross the road and was struck down. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the Leonora Cottage Hospital. The rank is under close arrest as the investigations continue.