ISSUE OF THE YEAR: Marred mas
As 2017 draws to a close, we look back at some of the stories that caught the public’s attention over the year.
This story was originally published on August 8, 2017.
Yesterday proved to be one of the bloodiest Kadooment Days.
In separate shooting incidents, one man was killed and 20 others, including a six-year-old, shot on a day that is traditionally filled with merriment and revelry.
Gun violence, which has plagued the island for the past several weeks, marred the biggest event on the Crop Over calendar.
Six of those victims were shot in the vicinity of Spring Garden Highway where the “jump-up” climaxed for the thousands of revellers.
Just after 6:30 p.m. the sound of gunfire overpowered the sound of calypso music being blasted from several speakers, sending people screaming and scampering for safety.In the aftermath, the lifeless body of a male, said to be in his 20s, was found on the pavement with bullets to his chest, while two other men and three women were left nursing injuries.
A middle-aged woman was shot in her left shin and another, an elderly woman, appeared to have been shot in her side. A third woman was also said to have been shot, but she was quickly whisked away and taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) by a private vehicle.
Grazed by bullet
A six-year-old was also reportedly grazed by a bullet. In another incident, one person was stabbed.One of the injured men was shot in the leg, while the other was reportedly shot about the body.
An eyewitness told the DAILY NATION several men drew guns and started shooting at each other.“Those women were just there standing up. They didn’t do anybody anything. Just so I see these men with these guns and they just started shooting at each other,” the source said.
“They could have killed so many people because they were just running away shooting. A lot more people could have died here today.”The incident brought an abrupt end to the festivities, with no fewer than eight police vehicles and 20 police officers quickly arriving on the scene and cordoning off the area.
Earlier in the day, around 1 p.m., a 37-year-old man was also stabbed in the neck and a 30-year-old man was shot in the hip at Waterford, St Michael.
Ironically, the shootings occurred just minutes after the island’s top cop, Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, was patrolling Spring Garden Highway along with several other high ranking officers.At the time, in a brief interview, Griffith said he was satisfied with how police had patrolled the busy Crop Over weekend.
“Yes, I am quite satisfied. I think things went quite well as there weren’t many major incidents.“So far there have only been two incidents today [yesterday] and they are under control as we know the persons involved in those matters. Apart from that, everything went quite well and the behaviour was quite well,” Griffith had said.
After news broke about the shootings, subsequent efforts to reach the Commissioner proved unsuccessful.
Chief executive officer at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Cranston Browne, is expected to make a statement today, while phone calls to Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley were not immediately returned.
A press release from member of the Opposition Dale Marshall, condemned the shootings.
“By morning, the information will have crystallised, but what is certain is that a beautiful day has been marred beyond repair. This is not the Barbadian way, nor is it how we behave. We know that, but we want those of you visiting us to know that this is a total aberration,” Marshall, the shadow Attorney General, said.