Unarmed man shot by police dies in wife’s arms two years later

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Almost two years after he was shot twice by ranks of the Guyana Police Force and was left paralyzed, 30-year-old Winston Fraser has died. Fraser was shot to his stomach and back.

His wife, Detra Walters known as ‘Nikita’, told the News Room that Fraser died in her arms at their Freeman Street, East La Penitence, Georgetown home on Friday.

Fraser was paralyzed from the waist down and died with fragments of the bullets still lodged in his body.

“If he did an x-ray it would look like stars to you, you would just see pieces of white fragments in his body,” Walters said.

On July 25, 2020, while on Durban Street, police opened fire on Fraser and three other friends.

His friend and co-worker, 39-year-old Cecil Sampat was shot four times and later died on August 6, 2020. The two other persons managed to escape unharmed.

The men were club hopping when police opened fire on them. The four unarmed friends, were in motorcar PYY 4432 which the Police mistook for a car used in a recent robbery at Eccles, East Bank Demerara.

Fraser’s family is awaiting an autopsy, but they suspect that his injuries from the shooting resulted in his death.

The past two years have been gruelling for the family. Fraser had to undergo several surgeries and had to be cared for round the clock.

The family claimed that they also reached out to the government several times for assistance, but got no response.

“He had to get gauze, saline, iodine, the catheter, the urine bag, then he had to get syringe and a prolonged list of items he would have needed on a daily basis or weekly,” Walters said.

His wife recounted his last moments and explained that he told her that he was hungry and so she began heating some soup for him.

“After the soup finish hotting, I was feeding him and later after his aunt came and he took about three to five spoons and he started to make a funny sound and I hold his face cause he started to give a little white eye and I keep asking him what was wrong and he started to bow he head.

“I called the ambulance and the police and that was it,” the grieving woman said. Walters said she and Fraser have been together for the past eight years.

Detra Walters (Photo: News Room/April 4, 2022)

Fraser initially spent a few weeks in the hospital after the shooting, but in July 2021 he was hospitalised again.

“He came out in August [2021], he went back in October and then in December around the 15th he went back into the hospital and that was when he was on a real down path,” Walters explained.

In December 2021, Fraser did a surgery; his wife explained that his right leg bone popped out of the socket and had started to poison him.

“They had to cut out a piece of that bone and then the doctors had advised we needed to remove a part of the hip and that was done this year,” Walters explained.

Since the shooting, Walters had to step up and become the breadwinner. But it has not been an easy journey by any means. She revealed that she has been in and out of five jobs since then.

“I was in and out of job because it used to be frustrating to work and take care of him, sometimes it just used to be hard and I used to quit,” Walters said.

She said her husband was very hardworking and this made it even more difficult to see him in such a condition.

“It is hard to see your spouse in a condition like that and punishing for no reason, especially when you know he is hard working (and) very ambitious.”

Fraser was employed at John Fernandes Ltd.

Walters revealed that no one contacted them since the shooting.

“No one since the incident, except Mr Da Silva, one of the officers in charge of the case, he had reached out just to get a statement that was August [2020], after Sampat would have passed and then there were no visits, not even from the Commissioner, there was no visit from no one who cared.”

But they were some good times. His wife said while Fraser was paralyzed from the waist down, he could have still talked, played video games and share a hug. According to his wife, despite his injuries, he was full of joy.

“If he see you down, he would come and ask what is going on, you want something to drink, you alright and he would chill and hold a vibe as we say as young people,” Walters recalled.

These sentiments were echoed by his mother, Dianne Dobson. Fraser was her only child and his death is even more difficult since she lost her mother the day before he passed.

His mother said Fraser was hardworking and ambitious.

“Winston was a loving son, grandson and husband; Winston’s life was just cut off by the Guyana Police Force,” the mother said.

Corporal Godwin Thomas and Constable Troy Munroe were initially charged with the murder of Sampat and remanded to Prison in August 2020. But in November that same year, the duo were released from prison following the withdrawal of the charges by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP); the DPP chambers had instructed the police to do further investigations into the incident.

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