April 18, 2021

Guyana Guardian

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Two escapees, woman identified after fatal Better Hope shooting

-fourth person on the run




The shack where the shooting occurred



A search is underway for a man who shot at police and then fled, triggering the fatal shooting of two prison escapees and a woman on Monday night in the Better Hope South backlands.

Mazaruni Prison escapees Imran Ramsaywack and Ryan Jones, and Savita Rajkumar, also known as ‘Debbie,’ were shot dead in a shack in the backlands, where police had gone based on a tip-off that the escapees were hiding in the area.

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) in a report yesterday afternoon stated that Rajkumar, 49, of Better Hope (South) Squatting area, East Coast Demerara, was said to be a close acquaintance of one of the dead prisoners.

Imran Ramsaywack

The dead woman was identified by her daughter.

Giving its account of the events that led to the shooting, the Guyana Police Force said in a statement that police ranks, acting on information received, went to the area after receiving intelligence that the prison escapees were hiding out there.

They observed three wooden shacks in an abandoned field in a bushy and swampy area.

The statement said after clearing the first shack, ranks were approaching the second one when a voice was heard in the third shack.

Ryan Jones

According to the report, police immediately identified themselves after which a man emerged and discharged a round in their direction before escaping.

Police subsequently returned fire, killing the three persons in the shack in the process.

A sawn-off double barrel shotgun was found at the scene.

Up to yesterday afternoon, there was no word on the identity of the man who initially fired at the police.

Ramsaywack and Jones, along with Kenrick Lyte and Samuel Gouveia, escaped from the Mazaruni Prison on February 16th.

Ramsaywack, of Berbice, was sentenced to death after being found guilty of the murder of a United States-based Bux-ton woman in 2015.

Ramsaywack was convicted of murdering Samantha Benjamin between March 25 and March 26, 2015.

Trial Judge Justice Sandil Kissoon at the time of sentencing had told the court that he found that the woman’s death was the result of a cold-blooded, calculated robbery that eventuated in murder.

In order to dispose of Benjamin’s body, Ramsaywack went to great lengths and effort to dismember her body. Her remains were found at the Annandale foreshore on March 26, 2015. Later the same day, her head, legs, and arms were found at the foreshore.

Some of the personal belongings found in the shack

Jones, of Bartica, was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Timehri mechanic Puranand Baljit, who was stabbed to death during a robbery at his Madewini home in 2016.

In 2019, he appeared before Justice  Kissoon at the High Court in George-town, where he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He had initially been indicted for murdering Baljit, called ‘Andrew’, in the furtherance of a burglary on June 9, 2016.

His father, Ralph Jones, has been charged with four counts of being an accessory after the fact to escaping from lawful custody after allegedly admitting to providing assistance to the escapees, including a change of clothing after their escape.

Lyte was convicted of murder, while Gouveia was convicted of manslaughter.

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