Independence Day 2023 took on a different hue with the country recording one road fatality and four homicides amidst official celebrations.
According to the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF), on Wednesday February 22, the Traffic Unit of the Micoud Police Station responded to a report of a vehicular collision along the Mon Repos Highway about 6:30 p.m. The collision involved multiple vehicles, one of which fatally struck a pedestrian.
The victim was identified as 61-year-old Nicholas Modeste also known as Nac or Lazy Master, from Mon Repos.
The RSLPF also confirmed a police shooting that same day. Assistant Police Commissioner with Responsibility for the Central Division Benson Deterville noted that “on Wednesday, February 22, about 9:10 p.m., officers attached to the Criminal Investigations Department and the Scenes of Crime (Office) were on the Bexon highroad near the Sol Service Station processing and preserving the integrity of a crime scene.”
The crime scene was related to a shooting incident that took place in that same area earlier where an individual was shot by an unknown assailant.
“Officers were being assisted at the crime scene by traffic officers and Special Service Unit officers. The scene was cordoned and vehicular traffic from both directions were stopped. Whilst there, the officers noticed a motorcycle approaching them from a southern direction with a passenger on the motorcycle,” Deterville said.
Several attempts to stop the rider proved futile, the RSLPF noted in a statement, and a single round of ammunition was discharged injuring the motorcyclist and the pillion rider. The motorcyclist who sustained an injury to the leg was later pronounced dead at the OKEU Hospital. The deceased was identified as Negel George, a 22-year-old resident of Paix Bouche, Babonneau.
Police are also investigating the circumstances surrounding a shooting in Soufriere, which occurred on Wednesday about 3:45 p.m.
“Upon arrival on the scene police were informed that four persons were injured and were conveyed to the Soufriere Hospital. The police proceeded to the Soufriere Hospital where upon arrival they were informed by medical practitioners that three persons sustained non-life-threatening injuries while a fourth individual Kevin St. Hall, 28, of Jacmel, succumbed to his injuries,” George Nicholas, Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for the Southern Division, said in a statement.
Eleven males are currently in police custody in relation to this incident.
Vieux Fort Police also responded to a shooting incident on Sandy Beach that same day around 9:10 p.m.
“Two persons succumbed to gunshot injuries namely Denzel Joseph, 27, (of Cantonement, Vieux Fort), and Kareem Mcfarlane, 20, (of Bruceville, Vieux Fort),” Nicholas said.
Police are currently investigating the shooting incidents.