Smallie’s accomplice snatched gun from Police after he was caught
Neon Howard, a 33-year-old man of Friendship, East Coast Demerara (ECD) who was an accomplice of prison escapee, Royden Willams, was shot dead by Police Officers on Sunday when he snatched a firearm from ranks and attempted to shoot them after they caught him.
This is according to a detailed press release from Police Headquarters on Sunday night which stated that Howard was shot at St. Mary’s Quarry, Region Seven (Cuyuni- Mazaruni).
Howard was wanted for aiding the recent escape of Williams, according to the Police.
A manhunt to recapture Williams and two of his accomplices (Howard and another unnamed suspect) was launched after the escape earlier this month.
According to the Police, based on information received of sightings of Williams and the duo in the St Mary’s quarry area on Saturday, it was noted that ranks from the Joint Services responded and sent out several ATV and foot patrols in an attempt to apprehend the men.
At about 06:54 hrs Sunday, one of the patrols identified Howard at a lumber concession near the Essequibo river bank. He was then arrested and was being transported through an interior trail via an ATV.
But Howard reportedly snatched a firearm that was resting on an officer’s lap, jumped off the vehicle and attempted to fire at the ranks.
“As a result, one of the Joint Services ranks, who was armed with an AK 47 rifle, then discharged four rounds in Howard’s direction, one of which struck Howard, who fell in a ditch of water whilst still attempting to crank the firearm.
“On seeing that, another Joint Services rank then discharged three rounds from his 9mm weapon, of which two struck (Howard) and he soon became motionless,” Police Headquarters reported.
Howard was later taken to the Bartica Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
When he was arrested, Howard was found with a black Samsung phone, one grey haversack which contained a pair of black Nike boots; Vitamin C tablets, Iron tablets, Malaria tablets; one camouflage hammock; one pack of cook-up seasoning, and one checkered boxer.
The Police noted that items similar to these, including rations, were previously discovered by ranks of the Joint Services who were in hot pursuit of the suspects.
Meanwhile, the Police further noted that an eyewitness who had interactions under duress with Williams and his accomplices has positively identified Howard as one of those accomplices.
Williams called ‘Smallie’, in a daring daylight ordeal and assisted by men with high-powered weapons, escaped from the Mazaruni Prison on May 19. This is the country’s maximum security penitentiary.
A day later, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) announced a $10 million reward for any information that can lead to Williams’ arrest.
The convicted mass murderer escaped while being escorted back from a visit with the aid of heavily armed accomplices in a speedboat. The escort party was fired upon with AK-47 automatic rifles by men inside the boat alongside the Mazaruni River.