Last weekend was one no one wants to remember, particularly family members and close friends of the persons who lost their lives from a crime spree that still rocks the nation.
Calls for government and the police to double their efforts at controlling the spread of gun violence was once again echoed. The country experienced another bloody weekend that involved one of the most brutal, yet bold-faced murders ever to take place in broad daylight.
Last Saturday, at the busiest bus terminal in the country – the Gros Islet Bus Terminal on Lower Darling Road in Castries, an executive member of that bus terminal, Hermia Lorde was gunned down about seven in the morning, in cold blood and in plain view of commuters some of whom were heading to, boarding or waiting for a bus.
Police say they are pursuing some very strong leads in this matter. Reports circulating that Lorde, at the time of her death, was a police informant has been categorically denied by police.
“Hermia Lorde was never an informant of the police, she has never provided information to the police that led to the arrest or capture of anybody. We are zeroing in on a possible motive for her death and it is not related in any way, form or fashion to her providing any information to the police. Like I said, we are categorically denying any statement suggesting that she was ever an informant of the police,” Superintendent of Police George Nicholas said.
This was just the beginning. As the weekend unfolded the island registered an alarming number of shootings and incidents of assault, which the Saint Lucia Fire service described as strenuous and traumatising for its members who had to respond to them.
A shooting in Belmont, Dennery on Sunday resulted in the death of one man and injury sustained by another. Hours prior to that incident, the lifeless body of a man with a gunshot wound was found in Cacoa Girard, Babonneau. The body was said to have been thrown from a moving vehicle in the early morning of Sunday.
“We are yet to identify this latest victim however we are seeking information from the public who can assist in identifying this victim. No one has been arrested in this latest incident,” police say.
Not long after that grisly discovery, a drive-by shooting in broad daylight at Trois Piton, Castries resulted in bullets hitting three young men who were part of a group. Zenadin Felicien, 19, received a gunshot wound to the chest. He was transported via ambulance to the Owen King European (OKEU) Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. No one has been arrested in this latest incident.
Police responded to an incident in Odsan also on Sunday about 5:15 p.m. where it was reported that a female received gunshot wounds to her legs. She was transported to the OKEU Hospital for medical treatment.