GEORGETOWN –– A former cop turned taxi driver was shot dead by the police after he allegedly pointed a gun at ranks and tried to escape after he was arrested for an alleged robbery committed on a Cummings Lodge resident early Monday morning.
Ryan Vaux, called “Gaza”, 36, a former member of the Tactical Services Unit of the Guyana Police Force was shot while driving away from some armed police ranks outside the Sparendaam Police Station.
Vaux who resided at 80 Norton Street, Lodge, eventually collapsed from the gunshot wound and crashed his Toyota Spacio into a trench about 800 metres east of the police station.
The police in a statement said that about 1 a.m. Monday, ranks of a mobile police patrol along Broad Street, Montrose, East Coast Demerara, saw a man running behind a motor vehicle bearing registration PSS 6835 and shouting that he had been robbed of a sum of money by persons in the vehicle.
The police said that the ranks subsequently intercepted the motor vehicle with the driver and another man inside. In the passenger’s possession was $21,000.
According to the police the passenger along with the robbery victim who was identified as Deryck Persaud, 46, of Cummings Lodge, were placed into the police vehicle, while a police rank entered Vaux’s vehicle and they were taken to the Sparendaam Police Station.
There Deryck Persaud informed the police that he had been robbed by the two men who were armed with a handgun and a knife.
He told police that he was walking along the road when the car pulled up alongside him and the passenger got out and confronted him with a “Rambo” knife.
Persaud said that the man demanded his money and he initially resisted. He claimed that the driver of the car who apparently got angry by his reluctance to hand over his money, got out and pointed a gun at him, forcing him to hand over $25,000.
Persaud said that shortly after, he saw a police mobile patrol and he informed the ranks that he was just robbed by two men in the car that was speeding away in front of him.
The police gave chase and caught up with the vehicle and took the men to the station.
According to a source, at the station, the police decided to carry out a search of the car that was parked on the roadway.
Two armed ranks stood guard while a detective effected the search in Vaux’s presence.
The police said that as this was being done, Vaux suddenly bent down into the driver’s side of the car and pulled out a gun which he pointed at one of the armed ranks.
This newspaper was told that the ranks warned Vaux and ordered him to drop the weapon but he refused and drove away instead.
The ranks then discharged a round from their rifle at Vaux but he managed to drive out of their sight.
The police later drove in the direction in which Vaux had driven and found the car in the trench that separates Vryheid’s Lust and Better Hope.
It turned out that the weapon Vaux had brandished was a pellet handgun. It was found in the crashed car.
The other suspect is in police custody assisting with the investigations.
Meanwhile, relatives of the dead man who turned up to identify his body are not too convinced by the police version of the incident.
They say that the police explanation leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
“Why would he point a pellet gun at the police who had rifles in their hands?” questioned one female relative.
Vaux’s wife who was also at the Georgetown Public Hospital Mortuary declined to speak to this newspaper.
However she told investigators that her husband left home around 9 p.m. on Sunday to ply his trade which is usually done from outside the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.
She said that she was only informed about his death when a reporter contacted her shortly before midday Monday.