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Two police officers were among four people reportedly shot and killed yesterday by a gunman described by relatives as “mentally unstable”.
The man, Deryck Kanhai, was a licensed owner of a shotgun and pistol. It is believed that he used those weapons to fire indiscriminately at people from his home in Middle Street, North Cummingsburd, a commerical area of the captial city, Georgetown.
The incident started after 1 pm and ended when Kanhai was shot by police about three hours later, according to reports.
The two police officers are Lance Corporal Sherwin Pantlitz and Lance Corporal Michael Forde.
The miner also shot two civilians--Crown Taxi Service dispatcher, Vanessa Vyphuis, and an unidentified taxi driver--before he engaged police in a gun battle in broad daylight. Police cordoned off the block, fired teargas and even asked for aerial reconnaissance by the Guyana Defence Force helicopter.
But Kanhai, who was inside the building above the taxi service, was apparently monitoring the situation by a CCTV surveillance system before deciding when to shoot, reports said. Police cut electrical power to the area to disable the surveillance system.
It is unclear what might have triggered the episode. Relatives told reporters that the man had been treated for depression and had “tripped”, reports said.
Sources: Nazima Raghubir, Demerara Waves, Gordon Moseley