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Cops Working To Curb Shootings

Image: Acting Deputy Commissioner Severin Moncherry
Image of POLICE Commissioner Severin Moncherry
POLICE Commissioner Severin Moncherry

POLICE Commissioner Severin Moncherry this week said the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) is working hard to curb shootings.

His comments came in the wake of a spate of shootings over the past week that have left two men dead, one man nursing a bullet wound to his ankle and the hospitalization of two others.

Even an off-duty police officer found himself caught up in the shooting spree when he and a gunman exchanged gunfire in the city on Tuesday afternoon.

Moncherry was not conclusive about the motives for the shootings.

“We are working very hard to see how best we can curb this. It is very unfortunate (that) we hear of these things happening, especially in the middle of the city,” Moncherry said.

He sympathized with those who lost loved ones in the shootings and said the police force is trying to get illegal firearms off the streets as a way of eradicating gun violence.

“We have a patrol team that is doing its best. We also have spoken to all our police officers to do whatever we can to get some of those firearms off the streets,” he said.

Moncherry said that based on what he has heard the shootings could be gang-related.

“There is an Anti-Gang Act that was enacted. However, there’s a little difficulty in terms of enactment, so we are working on that. Some of the definitions in there make it very difficult for us to enforce the law but we are working on that and very soon we should be able to use that piece of legislation,” Moncherry said.

While he did not disclose the approaches police would take to get guns off the streets, he nevertheless promised to increase police patrols. The criminals, he said, have no respect for anyone, including police officers, but must realize that the law makes provision for police officers to defend themselves.

Last week Saturday, around 2:20 a.m. officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) were dispatched to the scene of a suspected shooting at La Clery, Castries.

It was reported that two individuals, who were the riders of separate scooters, sustained multiple gunshot wounds while travelling from Gros Islet to Castries after they were allegedly accosted by unknown individuals with firearms. The assailants were the occupants of a motor vehicle traversing the highway.

The victims — Shane Augustin, 21, and David Khodra, 28, both of Leslie Land, Castries — were conveyed to the Victoria Hospital where they were pronounced dead by medical practitioners.

That same day, a man identified as Kennedy Dantes was shot in the ankle at Riverside Road and on Monday last, a shooting at Bocage resulted in two men being rushed to Victoria Hospital.

On Tuesday, the abovementioned incident between a police officer and a gunman occurred at Riverside Road, Castries. It remains unclear whether the gunman suffered an injury. However, the police officer was not harmed.

Micah George is an established name in the journalism landscape in St. Lucia. He started his journalism tutelage under the critical eye of the Star Newspaper Publisher and well known journalist, Rick Wayne, as a freelancer. A few months later he moved to the Voice Newspaper under the guidance of the paper’s recognized editor, Guy Ellis in 1988.

Since then he has remained with the Voice Newspaper, progressing from a cub reporter covering court cases and the police to a senior journalist with a focus on parliamentary issues, government and politics. Read full bio…

1 Comment

  1. He also said ‘citizens including police officers have a legal right to use deadly force to defend themselves’ – Is this message to give the go ahead to use violence against violence from our commissioner! Will this comment to ‘use deadly force’ really help the situation in st lucia today or will it create more vigilante style shootings/beatings with people taking the law into their own hands and giving out the punishment required in their own way since neither the courts,forensics or police force for that matter seem to be able to get things under control. Also does this comment give the so called ‘elite’ in st lucia a free hand to control or remove were necessary of which the ordinary person would be hung for! God help St Lucia!

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