British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

Gunman also tried to shoot George Burrows’ sons, court hears

Gunman also tried to shoot George Burrows’ sons, court hears

The gunman who shot and killed Purcell Estate resident, George Burrows last month also tried to shoot the now-deceased man’s sons, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Tiffany Scatliffe-Esprit has alleged.

The DPP levelled those allegations on Thursday, October 15 when the accused 37-year-old killer, Royden Sebastian, was brought before the Magistrate’s Court.

She told the court that on the night of September 2, Burrows was at his Purcell residence with his five children — his two teenaged daughters, his two sons (one of whom is disabled), and his stepson.

According to the DPP, Burrows was on his living room floor watching TV just before the incident. His stepson was in the kitchen eating food when he observed the kitchen entrance door open. He initially did not pay it any mind, but then he saw the arm of a lone gunman holding a black gun.

Upon seeing the firearm, the stepson immediately fled and the gunman allegedly fired one shot after him but missed. The stepson ran through the home. And as the gunman pursued, he fired one shot in the head of Burrows who was still on the floor, the court heard.

Gun misfired behind the head of disabled son


The DPP further alleged that the stepson then fled out the main entrance door of the home and ran to Purcell where he was being pursued by the gunman.

After the gunman noticed that the chase was futile, it is alleged that he returned to the residence of Burrows and went to his disabled son who was wheelchair-bound and placed the gun behind the son’s head.

The allegations further state that the gunman attempted to pull the trigger but the gun did not go off. After the misfire, the gunman fled the residence and was seen by persons running towards the area of the Purcell Estate basketball court.

The police and ambulance were summoned to the scene where Burrows later succumbed to the injury.

Gunman described as very tall and well-built/ CCTV footage available


The DPP further stated that the initial reports received from investigations described the gunman as being a black male over six feet two inches in height, considered to be well built and said he was wearing a T-shirt and dark pants.

Other accounts stated that Sebastian was on the Purcell basketball court moments before the murder, dressed in the exact clothing.

Scatliffe-Esprit also revealed that part of the investigations included police obtaining CCTV footage from around the area. The footage discovered what appeared to be a figure of a tall male captured moments after the shooting, walking in the area of the basketball court towards the area of Free Bottom, dressed in a white T-shirt and black pants.

An eye-witness


She further said the police had conducted several interviews during their investigations and noted that a witness, who claimed they saw precisely what occurred on the ill-fated night.

The witness claimed that they heard a loud explosion and saw a flashing light in the kitchen area of Burrows’ residence.

They said the activity caught their attention to which they continued to observe proceedings, and later saw a tall male exiting the front door.

The witness also stated that they saw the gunman going to Burrows’ disabled son in his wheelchair and placing a gun behind the head of the young man. They claim the gunman then fled towards the basketball court after the incident.

Witness recognised the accused


The witness further said they had a good view of the incident because of the street lights on the said night. They said they recognised Sebastian as the gunman to whom they have known for several years.

The witness then proceeded to grab a photograph of the accused and submitted the document to the police.

Police issued notice for Sebastian to report to police station


While conducting their investigations, the DPP stated that the police went to Sebastian’s residence at Free Bottom but he was not at home at the time. The officers said they left a message with the accused man’s brother, asking him to contact them at the station, but that request was not followed.

On the afternoon of October 13, 2020, the RVIPF conducted checks in the area of Purcell’s basketball court where the accused was apprehended and arrested on suspicion of murder of Burrows.

Sebastian was then taken to the Road Town Police station where he was interviewed in the presence of his attorney, David Penn.

Sebastian claims innocence


The DPP stated that during the interview, Sebastian claimed he was on the Purcell basketball court at the time of the murder and said there were other persons who saw him on the court at the time when the gunshots were heard.

He said he remained on the court a couple minutes after, and after not observing any activity, he went home. He has denied any involvement in the matter.

After concluding investigations, Sebastian was later charged with the offence of murder.

DPP objects to any bail being offered


Due to the nature of the offence, the Magistrate’s Court could not offer bail. The DPP still put on record her objection to any bail application made on behalf of the accused.

Sebastian’s attorney Penn, stated that his client has indicated that he intends to defend his innocence on the matter.

He was ordered remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison till his next court appearance on February 1 next year.

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