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Gunshot victim, 23-year-old, John Nelson, injured in the confrontation two Mondays ago between members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and mourners at the Shaka Blair funeral said that he was shot by a member of the Target Special Squad (TSS) at close range.
However, Inspector Lloyd Smith from the Police Public Relations department said yesterday that since there had been shooting by both the police and elements in the crowd of mourners, it is unclear at this stage who shot Nelson.
Speaking from his hospital bed in the HDU of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) last Thursday, Nelson related to Stabroek News that he had been standing behind a Canter truck among some mourners when he heard shots fired. He said the shots came from the police who were standing behind barricades at Vigilance. According to Nelson, some members of the crowd immediately retaliated by throwing stones and missiles at the ranks. He said their actions caused the police to cross the barriers they had put up and to direct shots at the protesters.
"I started to run and when I got to the side of the truck I was about to lay down to dodge from the bullets when I saw a police officer dressed in black aim at me. [He] shot me in my leg." He said when he was hit he fell in a pool of mud and began to bleed profusely. Nelson claimed that before he was shot, others in the crowd were shot, including a man who was hit with a live round on his wrist. Nelson told this newspaper that he has since had the bullet removed from his leg. He added that steel had been placed in his leg but said that though he was still experiencing severe pain in his injured leg, he was feeling much better.
The police had said that shots were discharged after they had been fired on by members of the crowd.