Another day, another shooting. Another victim who will not make it home to his family. More suspects at large, until the case is solved by local police. Last but certainly not least, another traumatic experience that our first responders have to deal with, all for the call of duty. We must not forget that these people too are human, and are affected by the spate of violence in our country.
On Thursday afternoon, sirens rang out around town as traffic backed up and calls started pouring into The Voice line. Frantic people filled us in on the most recent incident of violence in the country, many of whom were convinced based on what they’d witnessed that the individual in question was dead. His motionless body lay in the street as onlookers grabbed their mobile phones and took pictures, everyone wanting to be the first unofficial news source to break the story.
The details surrounding the Castries shooting that left one man dead this week were still sketchy when our news team made their way to Castries, where it seemed everyone with business in the island’s capital had gathered on one street, most trying to determine whether or not they knew the victim. Due to the streets being backed up and other challenges faced by emergency responders, his body lay out on the street for over an hour, before it was eventually removed from the scene.
After a trip to the city, reports coming back to the Voice told of scores of visibly shaken people, some of whom were even moved to tears as they stood on the sidewalk waiting for the emergency services to arrive. As they stood in the street, some people tried to make sense of what had occurred in broad daylight, others questioning, ‘what if it was a school day’? Particularly ahead of a holiday weekend, the thought seemed a recipe for disaster in the minds of most. The city would have been even more congested, especially on the day before a long weekend, and the chances of an uninterrupted shot at a victim, in close range or further, would have been lessened. It would certainly not have been the first time an unintended victim was shot accidentally, resulting in their death.
But what happened on Thursday was unfortunate enough. A young man who had just secured a job at a hotel in Saint Lucia, according to reports, lost his life in one of the worst ways possible. This at a time when many were hopeful that perhaps Castries really was a lot safer, with the introduction of the City Police who recently were given more power, to arrest in jurisdictions outside of Castries. Some fractions of the local police were not in agreement with this change, but others saw the benefits, after all, the police could not be everywhere at once. If the City Police focused on securing the immediate happenings in the city, the police would have more time for investigative matters, and to respond to other urgent matters elsewhere.
It is left to be seen how quickly this recent incident will be solved, and how the City Police, and the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force will come together to work more diligently to keep our streets safe.