Federation’s Murder Rate Up 42.8% by LK Hewlett

Statistics show that the Federation’s murder toll is up 42.8%, with 10 murders recorded thus far this year compared to 7 for the same period in 2012. Police are on high alert after the nation recorded 4 murders in one week, one on St. Kitts and three in Nevis. On Tuesday, May 14, Kishmoy Challenger, 29, of Pond Hill, Nevis was gunned down while he was at work. St. Kitts’ most recent homicide occurred last Saturday (May 18) when 30-year-old Jermaine Dore of Hermitage, Cayon was gunned down in front of a group. The incident occurred just before 10pm in a Lower Cayon area called Hogland, where the decedent was playing dominos with at least three others. Police Commissioner CG Walwyn told The Observer according to witnesses at the scene the group of men were outside a small shop attached to a residence when a masked gunman approached and opened fire. “They are alleging that one person walked up, with face covered, and randomly started shooting,”he said, adding that the persons further indicated the gunman fled the scene on foot. No one else was injured during the gunfire and Dore perished on the scene. Since then there were two murders recorded in Nevis overnight May 20-21, making it a total of 5 murders on the island this year. Police are investigating the two unrelated incidents -the shooting death of 21-year-old Jamal Isles of Fountain Village, Nevis and the strangulation death of 18-year-old Chazere Davis of Taylor’s Pasture. Nevis had only one murder over the comparative period in 2012 compared to five this year, resulting in a 400% increase thus far in 2013. St. Kitts had 6 murders compared to 5 thus far year; a decrease of 16.6%. To date arrests have only been made in one of the murders however police have a lead suspect that they expect to take into custody for the murder of Davis. Authorities on the island have spoken out against the homicides and called on persons to utilize the Crime stoppers tip-line 1-800-8477 to report any information they may have on the crimes. While all 7 murders recorded for that period in 2012 were gun-related, 2 of the 10 recorded thus far this year have been stabbings and one case of strangulation. The Federation’s murder toll fell sharply in 2012 when compared to 2011. In 2011 murders increased by 70%, going from 20 in 2010 to a record-high 34. In 2012 the murder toll fell from 34 to 18, a decrease of 47%.

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