By Kingsley Emmanuel
POLICE are investigating the death of a Castries-based taxi driver, identified as Nerius Francis, also known as ‘Korsol’.
A law enforcement official told St Lucia Times that spent shells were found in the area near the vehicle which the deceased was driving.
The official disclosed that the vehicle had run off the road and overturned a short distance away from the Monchy gap, pinning Francis.
Police suspect that the deceased was shot at and attempted to take evasive action when the vehicle he was driving ran off the road.
Francis was pronounced dead about 11:30 pm Monday.
He was in his forties, it is reported.
At the same time, the police are also reporting that woman and two men who were shot in separate incidents over the weekend have been identified by Saint Lucia Police and are in stable condition at Victoria Hospital.
Law enforcement officials have named them as Shane Mitchell, Richard Mann and Crystal Simeon.
According to the police, Mitchell was shot at Vigie Beach about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday and he sustained gunshot injuries to both legs.
A police statement disclosed that the other victims, Richard Mann and Crystal Simeon, were shot about 1:00 a.m. Monday at Morne du Don.
Mann is reported to have been shot in the ribs, while Simeon was shot in the mouth, police disclosed.
Police told St Lucia Times that unidentified gunmen carried out the shootings
Meanwhile, residents of the South of the island are calling on criminals to ‘Stop the Violence!’
The cry has especially come from residents of Westall Group in Vieux-Fort, where several persons were injured in a shooting incident two Fridays ago.
Currently two of the injured persons are hospitalized, and residents believe that the shooting incident was gang-related and will continue.
A number of the concerned residents of the area say the incident has infuriated them and believe that there are certain persons in the area who are encouraging such criminal activities.
According to Hilary Ambroise, who owns a shop a few metres from where the incident occurred, he was in the line of fire, but was lucky not to get injured. He said at the time of the incident he was sitting on a step talking to a lady who got shot in her arm.
“From the time I heard the first shot and saw the lady running I knew she had gotten shot,” Ambroise told this reporter in an interview, adding that he did not see any of the gunmen.
He said he heard between 10 and 11 shots fired.
According to Ambroise, there were many people in the area at the time of the incident, who all scampered for cover when they heard the shots being fired.
He said a bullet hit the step on which he was sitting and passed close to his waist.
“I could have been killed….” he said.
Ambroise said recent violent incidents in the area have affected his business, adding that the most recent one has made things even worse.
Prisca Collymore, a resident of the area said the recent incident has angered her.
“It’s time the violence stop in the area…,” Collymore said, adding that the recent incident may have been committed by residents of Vieux-Fort, but not by those living in the immediate area.
She lamented that a few people in the area are contributing to the violent activities taking place in Westall Group.
According to her, instead of some people in the area furnishing the police with information which could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of crimes in the area, they shield the perpetrators.
She called on the police to make regular patrols in Westall Group.
“The place has gotten very dangerous over the past few years. It’s high time this violence stop in the area,” another resident said.
According to another resident, on hearing the hail of gunshots, she got outside her home and saw the gunmen running from the scene.
The chilling crime spree continued over the week-end in Vieux-Fort when a man was chopped several times about his body on Saturday, and on Sunday another was shot in the leg.
So far, no one has been arrested in connection with any of these incidents.