‘We are thankful she is still with us!’

Delia Daniel is expected to make a full recovery but her family is worried about emotional scars. Right: Brother of victim, Dr Christy Daniel.

She’s my sister.  I grew up with her and she is a very nice person.  She is a very popular person with friends in all strata of society.  She has a gift that I attribute to my mother where she can remember people better than I.  She can remember people who are fifth cousins and sixth cousins and seventh cousins,” Dr Christy Daniel smiled as he gave the STAR an insight into his big sister’s personality.
He currently serves in a dual capacity—that of a brother and his sister’s attending physician.
Attorney-at-law Delia Daniel was brutally attacked at her Goodlands home by a known individual around 7:30pm on Friday May 13.  As a result of the assault, Dr Daniel says she sustained multiple facial fractures and a broken upper and lower jaw bone.  He estimates that had she not gotten immediate treatment, her injuries could have been fatal.  At this point, he expects his sister to make a full physical recovery in a few months time with extensive treatment.  However, his only concern regarding her recovery is the psychological scars she will have to battle.
Dr Daniel told the STAR, “Delia is hard working and dedicated.  Although she is a lawyer now, but she is someone who went to study on her own as a mature student.  She was probably around 40 years old when she decided to go study.  She achieved that and has returned home some ten or twelve years now.”
He went on: “It always hits home when it happens to someone close to you.  It has happened where people have had similar or worse incidents and some are unsolved.  It is not the same in Delia’s case. As bad as it is, it could have been anybody and it could have been worse.”
Police sources indicate Delia Daniel was in her apartment when a young male acquaintance came knocking at the door.  She answered, inviting him in.  They had a conversation.  The acquaintance requested a glass of water to which Delia Daniel obliged.  She left the room and returned with the water.  The acquaintance requested her assistance in studies he was pursuing.  Daniel was not in a position to assist and at some point in the conversation, Daniel turned her back to the individual which is when he attacked.  She fought back and fled from her apartment.  The man made off with her handbag which contained, among other effects, her licensed firearm.
Dr Daniel explained how he responded to the news of his sister’s attack.  “The first thing I heard was that someone was attacked at home.  I thought it was my kids initially but when I heard it was my sister, my second thought was that she was killed and then they said she wasn’t.  I was told the ambulance was called.  My next reaction was, is it possible that she had been raped?  When I saw her and saw she alive it was a relief.  She tried to speak but couldn’t because of the injuries.  It could have been worse.  We’ve had a spate of murders in St Lucia where persons have been found dead in their house.  As bad as Delia’s situation is, it could have been worse.  Her injuries are severe. Looking at what her attacker did, it appears his intention was to kill her so I am thankful she is still with us.”
Dr Daniel expressed his sincere gratitude to members of the Royal St Lucia Police Force for apprehending a suspect in the matter.
After the attack, the area where the suspect resided was under surveillance, however, police were unable to locate him.  Police sources revealed intelligence from the public produced leads in the case.  The police were able to ascertain a description of the vehicle the suspect was aboard.
A picture and detailed description of the suspected was circulated via email, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger.
On Sunday, sources reveal police got further intelligence that the suspect was spotted in the Trois Piton area.  The police intercepted the vehicle.  At the time the vehicle had four occupants including the suspect.  Delia Daniel’s firearm was reportedly recovered in the vehicle.  The suspect sustained several injuries during the operation, the most severe being two gunshot wounds to the upper leg.  A police officer on that mission is also nursing a gunshot wound to the leg.
The St Lucia Bar Association has condemned the attack on their colleague and pledged its continued support to the victim and her family.  “The recent brutal assault on one of the members of the Bar Association of Saint Lucia, Ms Delia Daniel, is a reminder to us all of the dangers faced by all
citizens from certain elements in our society and the need by all of us to aid in creating an environment, where we all can feel safe,” said a press release from the organization.
Meanwhile, Acting Assistance Commissioner of Police in charge of Crime and Intelligence, Frances Henry, has been speaking about the incident.  She told the STAR, “It is obvious that our continued effort to pursue the criminals is very apparent and people can see that.  As with this particular matter, we have employed a new dimension with policing which is more intel led.  Coming out of the efforts of our Operation Restore Confidence, we found that the public is falling in line and have been very instrumental in giving us information.  That information we are able to analyze and then operationalize it.  Friday’s incident actually speaks to that.  As soon as the incident was publicized, we had a number of persons who came in and shared information.  Police vigilance on and off duty is no longer sufficient.  Crime is everybody’s business.  Our crime fighting efforts are not territorial or secluded to a department.  This has enabled us to reap results in the shortest possible time.”
What does the acting Crime Chief have to say about the suspect’s photograph and details going viral in cyber space?
“Like I’ve always said, social networking has its place.  It is possible that this was one of the mediums used in tracking him.  Of course, for me, the only negative with this mode is sometimes people are very insensitive with what they circulate, for example where there is a loss of life or a tragic accident.  Information like this, where you are seeking the identity of someone who has committed such a vicious attack on an unsuspecting citizen of this country, I have no qualms with the BlackBerry or Facebook being used to circulate whatever information.  The good thing about it is, it is not a situation whereby the identity of the individual was in dispute and that helped us,” Henry said.
Could this be a new ammunition in the police’s crime fighting belt?

Answered Henry, “It has been the policy of the department to use any medium where information can be circulated and possibly this is the new phenomenon.  Possibly this is the way we can go.  It has its negatives but it also has its positives.  It is user friendly, cost effective and the technology permeates every sphere of society.”

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