A young man wearing a black and red cap fires a gun through the bars of the counter where cashier/ waitress Debbie Blackman stands.
The first bullet, reportedly from a 9mm pistol, strikes the attractive, 48–year-old mother of five on the shoulder. Wounded and terrified, Blackman runs towards a door that would lead her further into the restaurant. It’s locked.
The gunman shifts his position to get a better view of his target. He fires again… and again. A bullet pierces Blackman’s throat, and she slumps to the ground. The gunman and three accomplices calmly leave.
This is the chilling scene that police sources said they witnessed on a security camera, which recorded the final seconds in the life of Deborah Blackman, who was shot dead at around 19.30 hrs last Saturday in the Chinese Delicious Restaurant.
Police said that the footage they saw gave no indication that the gunman had attempted to rob the restaurant. This has led to questions as to whether the killing stemmed from a motive other than robbery.
The recording has also given police a look at the unmasked man who killed Blackman, as well as two other men who appear to be his accomplices. Police recovered two warheads and a bullet casing from the scene. The restaurant was shut tight when Kaieteur News returned to the scene yesterday.
Kaieteur News viewed part of the footage, which showed a man in a black cap, with red peak, going up to the counter and apparently making a purchase. Two other men then come to the counter, and one of them gives Blackman a $5,000 note. The footage shows the apparently nervous men constantly glancing around.
According to police sources, Blackman, of Critchlow Circle, Tucville, placed a box of food on the counter, which is barred off from the dining area. Sources who viewed the footage say that the men walked out of the restaurant, but then the one wearing the cap returned to the counter and shot Blackman.
A police release stated that two men on a motor cycle drove up to the Delicious Chinese Restaurant on Durban Street, Georgetown, and the pillion rider entered the restaurant.
“He ordered and paid for a meal after which he pulled out a firearm and shot the cashier Debra Blackman to her shoulder and neck and escaped on the motor cycle.”
Blackman was pronounced dead on arrival at the GPHC, the release said.
Latoya Blackman, one of the slain woman’s daughters, said that her mother left for work at around 10.30 hrs on Saturday and was scheduled to work until the following day. She said that a woman who was at a salon in D’urban Street informed the family of the shooting.
The daughter said that when she arrived, a crowd had gathered but she managed to enter the restaurant, where she saw her mother lying in a pool of blood.
Relatives claimed that the owners of the restaurant took several minutes before they opened the restaurant for the police, and Blackman’s body was left for some three hours at the scene.
Kaieteur News was told that Blackman had been working at the restaurant, located between Halley and Hardina Streets, for some eleven years.
According to a relative, bandits had attacked the restaurant last March. A daughter said that the bandits had kicked open a door leading to the counter and robbed Blackman and the restaurant owners.
The relative said that the proprietors would leave the door behind the counter open to allow Blackman to secure herself in the event of future attacks, but that the door was locked on Saturday night when the killers struck.
A daughter said that after the robbery in March, her mother had expressed concern for her safety and had planned to leave her job and start her own business.