The mother, daughter and wife of Lance Corporal Ramnarine Lachana are consoled by a Police Officer.
a handgun wrested from one of his victims,
Solomon Elijah Blackman, formerly of the
Tactical Service Unit (TSU) of the Guyana
Police Force, went on a rampage at the
Brickdam Police Station, in an incident that
is eerily evocative of the workplace shootings
by postal employees a decade ago.
Constables, Kester Cosbert, the first person
to be shot by the assailant, and Royston
Paddy, who was injured while jumping through a
window in a bid to escape the onslaught, were
treated by medical personnel and sent home.
who was brought down in his murderous rampage
only when another Policeman shot him in the
thigh, is under Police guard at the hospital.
Sequence of Events
The Chronicle learnt that Blackman entered the compound of the Brickdam Police Station sometime after noon apparently to make a report. Moments later, in what appeared to be a surprise attack, Blackman, who had a soft drink bottle in his hand, struck Constable Kester Cosbert, who at the time was on sentry duty. He then, relieved the Constable of his holstered service revolver.
A sullen, but subdued Solomon Blackman arrives at the Georgetown Public Hospital in a Police vehicle after killing two Policemen and wounding another two at the Brickdam Police Station.
this time, pandemonium had broken out in the
Station and screams of pain and dismay filled
explained that the terror and confusion eased
somewhat after a Policeman shot Blackman in
the thigh and pulled the revolver out of his
hand. The ordinary activities of the Police
Station were temporarily halted and the area
in front of the Station cordoned off as the
cops set about getting their wounded comrades
to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation
in another wry twist of fate, the vehicle
transporting the mortally wounded Griffith to
the hospital collided with another car, which
reportedly ran a stoplight at the corner of
Middle and Camp Streets.
was high at the Brickdam Police Station
yesterday with visibly upset officers milling
around inside the compound and vehicles
scuttling in and out. Long after 14:00 hrs,
scores of curious onlookers still thronged the
grass verge outside the Station exchanging
bits of information and expressing
astonishment over the tragedy.
Georgetown Hospital scene
The scene at the emergency department of the Georgetown Hospital yesterday afternoon was far more chaotic than that at the Brickdam Police Station. Grim-faced Policemen wearing helmets and flak jackets and with their weapons at the ready moved in and out of the building, while another band of curious lookers tried to glean as much as they could of the conditions of the injured lawmen.
mother, his wife Rohini and his 12-year-old
daughter were the first members of the
victims’ families to arrive at the GPHC.
the news of Lachana’s death reached them,
they began to weep uncontrollably as
by-standers looked on with deep sympathy. The
Lachanas then demanded to see the body of
their loved one. They were taken away in a
Police vehicle shortly afterwards.
very solemn atmosphere prevailed at the home
of the dead Lance Corporal when the Chronicle
visited later yesterday.
wife, who was obviously and understandably
distraught, refused to have any lengthy
conversations with the media.
however said that her husband was 39 years old
and was the father of one, 12-year-old
Samantha, a student of the Brickdam Secondary
School. Lachana joined the Police Force in
Griffith’s wife arrived at the hospital, she
was informed that her husband had been shot
and was in a critical condition.
Griffith succumbed to a gunshot wound to the
left side of the back and died as a result of
blood loss at approximately 13:55 hrs.
the news of his death reached his wife, she
immediately began wailing and had to be
consoled by relatives and other Police
efforts had been made to resuscitate Griffith,
but they had failed, said Dr. Madan Rambarran,
Director of Medical Services at the GPHC. Dr
Rambarran was speaking at an emergency press
conference at the institution later in the
also noted that the staff at the hospital
responded well to the emergency and were quite
equipped to handle the situation.
afternoon, when the Chronicle visited the home
of Assistant Superintendent Richard Griffith
at Lot 35 Middle Road, Mc Doom, East Bank
Demerara (EBD), relatives and friends of the
Griffith family had already gathered to offer
their sympathy to his grieving widow Pamela.
bouts of weeping, Mrs Griffith, 49, explained
that her 53-year-old husband had spent four
months in the United States last year, and had
planned to migrate to that country when he
retired from the Force in a couple of months.
Griffith joined the Police Force in 1969.
father of Ian, 30, Griffith was described as a
“nice man, who was always easy-going, and
who was never involved in any problem with
Griffith said that her husband left home in a
jovial mood yesterday morning to take his
grandchildren to school before proceeding to
his desk at the Brickdam Police Station. It
was the last time she saw him alive.
family lamented that is was difficult for them
to understand how one man was allowed to cause
such uproar and mayhem at the Brickdam Police
as the Chronicle was speaking to his wife,
Griffith’s sister-in-law, Ms Janet Thomas,
arrived at the home, and upon hearing the news
of senseless slaying, began wailing
Sunday, March 02, 2003