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14-year old shooting death: Several questioned, hands swabbed

The bridge where Ryan Persaud collapsed after he was struck by a bullet.

Several persons have been questioned and their hands swabbed for gun residue, but much depends on the extraction of the warhead from the  14 year old boy who was killed at Vive La Force, West Bank Demerara.

Deputy Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud said the parents’ hands and those of several persons at Friendship, East Bank Demerara have been swabbed.  He said the persons associated with wealthy gold dealer and cambio – Mohammed’s- on Lombard Street were interviewed by police after residents at Vive La Force alleged that the shots were heard from the opposite bank of the river.

The high ranking police officer said investigators would have to await the autopsy for the warhead to be extracted from the body of  Ryan Persaud to determine the type of weapon that was used.

The Chief of Criminal Investigations explained that the parents’ hands were swabbed because the probe was still very much open. At the same time, he doubted that the weapon could have killed someone at least one mile across the Demerara River. “They (investigators) will have to check the firearm to see if it’s possible,” he said.

He said the effective range of the weapon that was found among the persons at Friendship was between one and 400 metres, but there were other factors like the length of the barrel and the atmospheric conditions at the time.

The parents and residents have alleged that the bullet was fired across from Friendship past the western bank of the Demerara River and a vacant house lot before striking the boy.

The Deputy Commissioner said he was unaware of previous reports made to the police about frequent shooting at Friendship and aboard vessels on the Demerara River.

The student of Patentia Secondary School was shot to his upper right side of his back. He was rushed to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where he died.