Grant's body had five bullet wounds
Stabroek News
April 19, 2002

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One of the three men shot dead by the police on Mandela Avenue last July had five bullet wounds and he could have been fired at by different persons, a pathologist testified Wednesday at the continuing inquest.

Dr Nehaul Singh who performed the autopsies on the bodies of John Bruce, Antoine Houston and Steve Grant, testified before Coroner Juliet Holder-Allen that he found five bullet wounds in Grant's body, one of which -- a shotgun wound -- was fired within three feet of the body, while the others were fired beyond the three feet radius.

Attorney-at-law Robert Corbin, who is appearing for Grant's family, on cross-examination of Singh, asked the doctor what was the magnitude of wounds. The doctor replied that each of the wounds would have been fatal.

"So it was an overkill," the attorney asked.

"I couldn't say," replied the doctor.

"Is it like killing somebody five times?" Corbin probed.

"Yes. It is like killing somebody five times," Singh responded.

According to Singh's testimony, Grant's body sustained a bullet wound to the breastbone near the sixth rib; another to the right armpit, the bullet from which passed through the lungs and exited through the back; a circular wound on the left abdomen, four centimetres in diameter where cardboard wadding and multiple pellets were removed from under the skin; one which penetrated the sixth and seventh ribs and went downwards behind the intestines; and another to the back just below the scapula.

Inquiring into what accounted for the direction of the entry of the fourth wound, Corbin asked whether the gun would have to be pointed downward. Singh responded that it might be possible.

"Is it possible that the person could have been on their knees?"

"It's possible."

"Could somebody with those wounds run after being shot?"


Attorney for the police, Vic Puran told the court the doctor's descriptions of the vertical and horizontal wounds were solely in relation to the wounds rather than the position of the bodies at the time the wounds were inflicted.

After consideration of the wounds inflicted on Grant, Singh's final assessment was that they were consistent with the theory that different people had been firing at Grant at the same time.

Bruce, Grant and Houston were shot to death by members of the Target Special Squad last July at the junction of Mandela Avenue and the Industrial Estate Road, in what many saw as executions. The police claimed the three men had opened fire on them forcing a confrontation when they attempted to stop the vehicle in which the three were travelling. Eyewitness reports however, contradicted the police account, claiming the driver had been told to flee, while one of the three remaining men was shot at point blank range. The other two, they contended, were ordered to lie on their stomachs in the middle of the road and were shot in their backs.

The inquest is scheduled to continue on May 15 when other witnesses, including Senior Superintendent Steve Merai, are due to testify.