By LR Liburd
The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer
Gun violence in the Federation continues unabated as two men were reportedly killed today (July 25) in separate incidents – one on St. Kitts and the other on sister isle Nevis.
The victims’ names were given as 22-year-old Cleveland Berkley, alias ‘Fetty’ of Trafalgar Village, Basseterre, St. Kitts, and Gary ‘Fatty’ Claxton of Stoney Grove, Nevis.
Information reaching The Observer states that at about 11:30 a.m., while Berkley was seated under a tree on Cardin Avenue in the vicinity of the home of the late Noel ‘Zambo’ Heath, an unknown gunman or gunmen fired a number of bullets in his direction.
He was reportedly struck several times, including in the head, and was rushed to the Joseph N France General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Some three hours after (2:20 p.m.), Claxton was reportedly shot by an unknown assailant or assailants during an alleged attempted robbery in the vicinity of Paradise Beach in Jessups Village.
He was pronounced dead on the scene.
According to one individual, Claxton had owned a business in Stoney Grove where he would purchase seafood from fishers on that island for export and also to sell to various hotels, including the Four Seasons Resort, as well as to locals.
He was also well-known on Nevis for his altruism, especially in his sponsorship of community events and that of a football team.
Cleveland Berkley and Gary Claxton’s death have taken the number of homicides committed in St. Kitts and Nevis for the year to 21.
These two shooting incidents marked the sixth one in seven days in which four persons have died and seven others injured.
A police communiqué indicated that investigators from the Violent Crimes Unit and the Criminal Investigation Department and technicians from the Forensics Services Unit had canvassed both scenes for items of evidential value, and that investigations are ongoing.
The first one occurred at about 9:25 p.m. on Tuesday (Jul. 19) in the vicinity of Mad House Alley in Newtown, where it was reported that 19-year-old Shivorn Smith of Ponds Pasture and 18-year-old Derrick Hendrickson of Newtown were both shot to their legs.
The second one took place at about 9:15 a.m. on Thursday (July 21) in St. Johnston Village, where Vernon ‘Pest’ Elliott was shot twice in the region of his buttocks, while the third incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on the same day which resulted in the death of Cleon Gilbert of Lower Cayon and Kyle Allen of Central Thibou Avenue, and injuries to Omax Bye of Fort Thomas Road, Vance Nisbett of Thibou Avenue and Kevis Cotton of Upper College Street.
And the fourth incident occurred sometime after 11:00 p.m. on Friday (July 22) in the vicinity of David Coury & Co. Ltd. Hardware Store on the Bay Road where Javid Saddler, who is said to hail from The Village, was shot in the hip by an unidentified individual.
So far, no suspect has reportedly been held responsible for any of these shooting incidents.