By Lesroy W. Williams Observer Reporter
(Cayon, St. Kitts)”The latest spate of gun violence sweeping the country has left two men dead and several persons injured outside of a popular night spot, bringing the murder count for the year to 22. “Nine persons have since been arrested on suspicion of murder; however, no charges have been laid,” the Royal St. Kitts and Nevis Police announce yesterday, Dec. 4. Autopsy results confirmed both victims died as a result of gunshot wounds. The attack occurred near Henry’s Night Spot in Cayon about 3:20 a.m. on Nov. 30. Many bystanders were outside, where a party was being held and they had to scamper for safety as two masked gunmen dressed in dark clothing emerged from a nearby yard, opened fire indiscriminately, and then made good their escape. On arrival,” police found Travon Rickie Francis, alias “Waxy”, 25, of Sarah Bowry, Upper Cayon, lying on the sidewalk opposite the disco, bleeding. Thursday Online Code for Issue # 736 is VIW Desroy Walwyn, alias “Shootout”, 25, also of Sarah Bowry, Upper Cayon, was found lying in an alley leading from the island main road in the same vicinity, the press release stated. The district medical officer visited the scene and pronounced Mr. Walwyn and Mr. Francis dead. Six persons sustained gunshot injuries and were taken to the JNF Hospital for treatment, where four were detained in stable condition. One of the six injured was discharged” after being treated for an abrasion on the leg while another who was also injured went to the emergency room, but refused to give emergency staff his name, refused treatment and discharged himself. Violet Prince, mother of Travon, said that she is so distraught that she doesn’t think that anyone understands how she feels. “Nobody knows how I feel in my stomach and in my heart. I feel horrible,” she said. “I was made to understand that he died a horrible death, that he was shot-up all over. I even understand that he was shot in the eye. I don’t know why anyone would want to do this to my son.” Ms. Prince has three children of which Travon was the youngest. She said that Dec.9 would have made him 26 yrs old. “I don’t understand why people are so wicked,” she lamented. “I would like to advise the young people to stay out of gangs because they are making our hearts bleed,” she said. “Keep out of idle company.” She fears that the worse is yet to come, especially this Christmas. Ms. Edith Walwyn, mother of Desroy, said that she felt bad about everything but especially about the way that her son’s body was handled. “I feel bad about everything. I don’t like how my son’s body was handled. I was not allowed by the police to see his body,” she said. In speaking of her deceased son, she said that he was a helpful person and used to help out with chores around the house. “He was supposed to finish painting the house on Sunday. He used to cut the grass,” she said. Desroy wasn’t working at the time of his death and he was a regular goer to Henry’s Night Spot on a Saturday night, Ms. Walwyn said. “As far as I know he was not involved in any gangs,” she said. Ms. Walwyn has four children of which Desroy was the third. She would like to send a strong message to the young people to put away their guns and engage in productive behavior. Autopsies were scheduled to be performed on the bodies of Francis and Walwyn on Dec. 3. The Police are appealing to persons with information pertaining to this crime to contact the Cayon Police Station at 465-7258 or the Criminal Investigation Department at 465-2241 ext. 220, 230 or 236. After the shooting spree of Nov.30, there was yet another shooting incident the following day. A police press release stated that the Police was investigating a shooting incident that left Tanice Johnson of Taylor’s Housing Project nursing a gun shot injury to her leg. She was treated at the JNF Hospital and detained. The press release further stated that she was shot while approaching her home and that the shot was fired from a white car that was approaching her from behind. At the time of the shooting there was a male wearing a hooded jacket walking ahead of her, according to the press release. According to PRO of the Police, Inspector Cromwell Henry, it would seem that Ms. Johnson was in the right place at the wrong time and that the bullet was intended for someone else. Another press release from the police stated that the Police are investigating a robbery that occurred on Dec. 1 at Upper Monkey Hill at about 11 a.m., in which a man was held at gun point at his home by two masked gun men who demanded money. The man was struck at the back of his head with the gun and the perpetrators made good their escape with $300.00.” In the meanwhile, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, said in his weekly program “Ask the PM” that the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis had received a comprehensive study of the root causes of the problem of crime, especially gang violence among our people, from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Prime Minister urged all stakeholders including non-governmental organizations, the church, the private sector and all the political parties to join together in discussing what needs to be done to ensure that citizens and visitors of the Federation can feel a sense of security. After the review of the comprehensive crime study, a national plan to deal with crime would be formulated, the Prime Minister said. Leader of the Opposition Party, PAM, Mr. Lindsay Grant added his voice to the crime problem. “The bullets may have killed two more of our young men, but this entire community has been wounded,” Mr. Grant said. “There is a darkness that lies over this land ” a place where too many of our young people have embraced this culture of death. But this evil must not stand, and cannot stand.””” “There are many issues and challenges facing our nation and security is among the most urgent,” he said. Mr. Grant said that statistics would show that most of the crimes were committed by young men. In order to tackle crime, the People’s Action Movement has proposed a National Youth Program, developed and sponsored by the government in collaboration with civil society, including NGO’s, churches and the like, to ensure that young people do not fall through the cracks. The plan would target the most vulnerable and marginalized in the society. Part of the plan would include conflict resolution education, a gun amnesty that would reward criminals from the underworld when they hand over their guns without any questions asked, stiffer penalties for drug and gun crimes and a system to address gang culture.
By Lesroy W. Williams Observer Reporter