Gun violence in St Lucia doesn’t appear to be subsiding. In fact, shootings are taking place in more and more unexpected areas at just about any time of day. On Sunday a regular shopping day turned into a nightmare for shoppers in La Clery.
According to police reports, Roger Charles, a La Clery resident was walking in parking lot area of the La Clery Supermarket on Monday January 31, at about 10:30am when he noticed a white Corolla pulling up. Reports indicate that two armed masked men came out of the vehicle and started running and firing shots in Charles’ direction. Miraculously to all who witnessed the incident, Charles escaped unharmed.
One eyewitness who’d been waiting for his wife outside the supermarket recalled how the shocking incident played out.
“I was standing outside in the parking lot then I saw these guys dressed all in black with masks on running, firing shots at this Rastafarian man out in the open,” he said.
“Everyone started panicking; people were screaming and one lady fainted. I’d never seen anything like it before in my life.
“I didn’t even see when my wife got into the car. When I looked around for her she was already there.I was distorted for a good while. We got in the car and drove out of there. Everyone who was there at the time saw what happened. It really looked as if they’d shot the guy; they came so close to him. They got back into the car and drove off. No one saw them after that.”
According to police reports, no one was injured in that instance, however a FirstCaribbean ATM near the supermarket was damaged during the incident. The police press relations department says Charles spoke with authorities after the incident but said he didn’t want any police intervention in the matter.
Another man, 26-year-old Miguel Xavier was standing outside his home in Corinth at about 10pm on Saturday, January 29 when he was shot in what police say appeared to be a drive-by. According to police reports, Xavier was standing outside his home talking to a friend when a jeep drove by. The same jeep, a Suzuki Grand Vitara drove by a second time and it was at that point someone in the heavily tinted vehicle fired shots in Xavier’s
He was hit in the abdomen and right hip, but police say the bullets only grazed the victim. The 26-year-old has already been released from hospital.
Police were supplied with an accurate description of the vehicle and that same weekend a vehicle matching the description was discovered in Grave Yard at about midnight with two rounds of ammunition inside. The driver was taken into police custody.
The recent shootings come days after the shooting death of 48-year-old Arthur ‘Arfo’ Clarke, who was known by some as the ‘peace maker’ in the Grave Yard area. Clark was killed on Thursday, January 27.
Over the weekend there was heavy police presence in Grave Yard, Morne Du Don and other areas on the outskirts of Castries.