Saint Lucians were stunned last Sunday when a shooting incident in the Coolie Town community resulted in three fatalities and five others wounded.
One of those wounded was an off-duty police officer.
Dead are 46-year-old Versia Alexander of China Town, Marigot, 27-year-old Tamara Edmund of Barre Denis, and Kevin Joseph of Fond Mange. They were pronounced dead on the scene, according to the hierarchy of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
A postmortem has been scheduled for Friday.
Alexander, Edmund, and Joseph were at a social gathering when tragedy struck.
“We felt that it was prudent to have dialogue with the members of the media and the public given not only the reports of crime in recent times, but also in an effort to account to the people who entrust us with their security. Despite yesterday’s incidents there has been constant police action towards realizing crime reduction,” Milton Desir, Commissioner of Police said during a press conference Monday.
“It is critical that the police and public relationships continue as successful mitigation of crime must involve a buy-in from the communities we serve. This is one of the reasons we have embarked upon the community level response plan. Not only will there be continued police presence, but these officers will work specifically towards building ties with stakeholders to bring out reductions in crime, specifically gun related offenses,” Desir said, urging individuals with information to come forward.
There could be serious implications for the off-duty police officer as the incident took place during confinement hours. According to Deputy Police Commissioner with responsibility for administration and discipline, Dorian O’Brian, the unnamed officer “should not have been there”.
“Unfortunately a police officer got injured in the incident which took place in Marigot. We all have to follow the rules, regulations, laws, etc.; that officer should not have been there, so as a result (we) will have an internal investigation as to why he was there. The hierarchy of the Force would like to wish him and all the other persons who were injured a speedy recovery. Just bear in mind that the police will conduct an investigation as to why the officer was there and that matter will be heard at a subsequent date,” O’Brian said, adding that disciplinary action will be taken if necessary.
The RSLPF revealed that a plan has been implemented to address any further escalation in the Marigot incident. The Force, along with the “relevant ministries”, will also offer psychosocial support to the families, friends, witnesses, and survivors of Sunday’s tragic event.