Opposition Leader and Castries East MP, Philip J Pierre, has opened up about the shooting death of Hardy John in Marchand on Thursday, expressing great sadness at what happened but also standing firm in his belief that the location of the crime ought not to be the main focus of our concern.
Speaking in a telephone interview with the Voice, Pierre said that he was “Very, very sad” upon receiving the news that John had been killed in Marchand.
“But I still maintain”, he continued; “that my constituents should not be stigmatised.”
Providing us with some personal details about John, he painted a very touching picture of a father who worked hard to try to support his family.
“This man, he was working, he was earning a living, that’s what he was doing. He tried to maintain himself and his family.” Pierre began.
He added that he knew the man and recalled seeing him with his daughter after school.
“This man that died, I know him, I know him very well. He was passionate about his family. He was passionate about his children. The last time I saw him he was with one of his children, bringing the child home from school and was lamenting the fact that he could not be earning a decent living…”
Earlier in the day, Castries City Mayor Peterson Francis extended condolences to the John family and expressed his view, that this was a targeted killing.
“You could see it was a targeted killing. He was there taking a rest on a table and he was shot right there on the table” Francis stated Thursday.
He also explained that John was the second CCC security guard to have been shot recently and expressed hope that this isn’t becoming a trend.
“We must understand that within a short space of time we have lost two of our security guards…I sincerely hope it is not a pattern that is developing that our security guards are being targeted.”
Speaking more on the matter of the location of the crime, the Castries East Rep. and Opposition leader, defended his constituency, stating: “the point is not the location of the crime. The point is the crime”
About John, he also said: “This young man, this man, was earning a living; he was working, he was earning his living. It’s very sad.”
He added that: “The key issue is the issue of gun violence and [unless] we stop looking for excuses and deal with it in a forceful manner, we’ll not solve it.”
He concluded by stating: “I’m very concerned. I’m concerned, not becuase I am the Parliamentary Rep. But I’m concerned as a St. Lucian, as somebody who is very concerned about what is happening to our young men in St. Lucia.”