Guyanese woman shot dead in Penal, husband wounded

Seema Lilman -
Seema Lilman -

POLICE are searching for a motive in the shooting death of Guyanese national Seema Lilman in what appears to have been a hit on the 31/4 MM Penal Rock Road on Tuesday morning.

Lilman’s common-law-husband Rajesh Bridgelal was critically wounded and is fighting for his life at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Police are searching for two men of Spanish descent who were seen leaving the scene of the homicide/wounding incident.

There is a theory that robbery might have been a motive, as residents suggest the couple went to a bar where they played the machines and won some money.

Other residents who expressed reluctance to speak with the Newsday said they were scared for their lives and contemplate moving out. One woman who spoke on the basis of anonymity said her 12-year-old daughter woke up traumatised when she heard shots echoing in the normally quiet community.

The couple were reportedly on their way home from the wake ofa  family friend and schoolteacher, referred to as Uncle Seeth, shortly after 1 am.

A short distance from their rented home, a white Nissan AD Wagon rammed, head-on into their dark green Mazda 323.

As the Mazda stopped, gunmen got out of the white car and started firing at the couple. The assailants then jumped into a waiting silver  Note and drove off.

Residents who heard the gunshots contacted the police. First responders WPC Homer, PC Ramoutar and PC Bahaw found the AD Wagon, PDD 159,7 in the middle of the road. Its right front and rear doors were open.

Police said PDD 1597 was a false registration plate.

The front of the wagon and the Mazda, PBS 5840, were both damaged. The Mazda also had what appeared to be bullet holes in its front and a shattered windshield.

Police found the body of a woman of East Indian descent, dark brown in complexion and medium build, in the left front-passenger seat. The body, which bore gunshot wounds, was clad in a white top and blue  jeans.

A resident told investigators he was awakened by the sound of rapid high-calibre gunfire around 1.30 am.

He said when he looked out into the road he saw two men of Hispanic descent get into the Note, which drove off.

He described the two men: one was tall, wearing dark pants and a white hoodie. The second man of medium build wore dark clothes. Both men were unmasked.

The resident said two minutes after the Note drove off, he saw Bridgelal staggering along the road, apparently with gunshot wounds to his face and body.

The resident assisted him and before Bridgelal lost consciousness, he told the resident he had been attacked and his wife had also beenshot.

Crime scene investigator PC Moreno and photographer WPC Ashby processed the scene and retrieved several 5.56 shell casings. District medical officer Dr Ramjit declared the body dead and ordered it removed to the SFGH mortuary pending a post-mortem at the Forensic Science Centre, Port of Spain.

Residents told the Newsday that the young couple, whose ages could not be ascertained, were mechanics and had lived in a rented apartment at Penal Rock Road for over a year.

“They were a normal couple, friendly. They loved each other and Rajesh would always say she was the love of his life and he did not know what he would do without her," one resident said.

“She was Guyanese, I don’t know his nationality. I understand his condition is critical but he keeps asking for his wife.

“In the time they lived here, we never observed anything suspicious, so I don’t know who would want them dead.

“This area has too much crime. I just want to leave here.”

Sen Supt Richard Smith recently confirmed Penal Rock Road is one of the rural areas which has been targeted by criminals.

Enquiries are continuing.


"Guyanese woman shot dead in Penal, husband wounded"

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