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The area in Petit Bordel where the ULP supporters held the barbecue on Friday.
The area in Petit Bordel where the ULP supporters held the barbecue on Friday.

The ruling Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) candidate for North Leeward, Carlos James, Friday night fired his gun in Petit Bordel to quell what he described as a “a rain of missiles, mostly bottles” being fired at ULP supporters in the area.

James told I-Witness News on Saturday that ULP supporters were at a BBQ at the shop of ULP supporter called “Marhias “Officer” Nanton when the incident occurred.

Nanton’s shop, which James says has been painted red and is officially a ULP hangout spot, is located along the street and a few yards away from a shop belonging to MP for North Leeward, Roland “Patel” Matthews of the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP).

James said ULP supporters were having a good time — adding, “Even some NDP supporters came up” — when someone he described as an NDP supporter “came up an instigated something”.

“I didn’t see, but they came up and basically approached one of the persons who was there in the crowd, basically,” said James, a lawyer and first-time candidate.

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“… from what I would have observed, a little kind of off guy, drunkie, probably send them up there and they probably just wanted to provoke a situation and as a result of that, they used the opportunity to — where all those bottles come from? They probably had bottles down there stored with plans to do something like that,” James said, adding that the persons firing the bottles were at Matthews’ shop.

Carlos James, ULP candidate for North Leeward. (IWN file photo)
Carlos James, ULP candidate for North Leeward. (IWN file photo)

“And one supporter of the NDP, I believe, came up and instigated something, which later transpired into a rain of missiles, mostly bottles, descending on the crowd.”

He said that most ULP supporters sought refuge inside Nanton’s shop.

“The missiles continued for about 10, 15 minutes. Police were called in and I don’t understand — I am not knocking the police, but you are in Chateaubelair and taking nearly 20 minutes to come around to Petit Bordel, which is just a five-minute drive,” James said.

He said while they were there, the “missiles”, which he described as sounding “like rain on galvanise”, continued.

“That is basically what it was. It was one of those incidents which could have escalated into a more serious incident,” James said.

“While waiting on the police — I called them about 50 million times to come, they continued firing the missiles.”

Asked if reports on social media that he has discharged a firearm was true, James said:

“From what I explained transpired, where in about 10 minutes of constant bottles and so on, we had to take an action which would have removed the crowd. Everybody had to settle and so on. So, I would have discharged a warning shot and so on,” said James, who owns a licensed firearm.

“Well about one or two shots in the air and as a result of that, the incident, more or less, quiet down. There wasn’t any bottle or so on and the police came immediately after.”

James appealed to his supporters to remain calm in the aftermath of the incident.

“It is quite unfortunate, because prior to what transpired, everybody was having a good time, both red and yellow,” James said.

“I think the concern is because a lot more people in Petit Bordel are now coming out showing red and they are coming out in the road and in the street and in the bars and proclaiming for Labour, I think that is probably a concern.

“People are uncomfortable with it in Petit Bordel. But it is a democracy and I think people have the right to support whichever political party and candidate they want to support.

“But you will hear all sorts of stories from this, but I can tell you Labour supporters were under attack, basically, and it was an unwarranted attack,” James said.

“When we were finished, the amount of bottles we had to sweep up there was quite telling of what transpired — a rain of missiles. And that is something that I am concerned about but I don’t want my supporters to be too ruffled by that and to remain calm.”

James said persons were struck by bottles and some were injured, though not seriously and police detained a man who they later released.

MP for North Leeward, Roland "Patel" Matthews. (IWN file photo)
MP for North Leeward, Roland “Patel” Matthews. (IWN file photo)

In a separate interview on Saturday, Matthews told I-Witness News that he was not at home when the incident transpired.

He, however, said he was told that there was “push and tug” between a man and a woman from different parties “and after the push and tug, the lady probably informed her boyfriend who came and pelt two bottles in the vicinity of the (Matthews’) shop where the guys was standing.”

The MP said that he was told that persons at his shop reacted.

“When I came there, I met what I would describe as a remnant of the crowd on both sides.”

He said a few persons showed him minor injuries from broken bottles.

Matthews, however, told I-Witness News that on Saturday morning a pregnant constituent asked him to take her the hospital in Chateaubelair saying that when the gunshots were fired she ran and fell in a gutter and was feeling pain on Saturday morning.

Like James, Matthews appealed to constituents to resist violence in the election campaign.

“I know that this election is going to be fought hard by both parties and I am asking supporters of both sides, especially the NDP supporters of whom I believe I have some level of control, to desist from violence,” Matthews said.

8 replies on “Election candidate fires gunshots to quell ‘rain of missiles’ ”

  1. James could never be charged with the unlawful dischange of a firearm in a public space.

    Not with a government in power that sees no wrong committed by one of its supporters as anything but a trivial matter.

  2. This lawyer messing up his case because if as he said missiles continued for 10-15 mins.but in about 10 mins. he fired 1 or 2 shots and the incident quiet down, 5 mins.drama missing Really hope there will be no more need to ‘quiet down’ any more incidents for the rest of this year in SVG

  3. This whole thing makes no sense at all. The police should have been there beforehand…just in case.
    An in the future better provision needs to be put in place, or expect something worse.
    On the other hand when are we going to change that name “Petit Bordel” to something more suitable for such a lovely place?

    1. On the other hand, why not just name every town and village in SVG “Petit Bordel,” as in Petit Bordel 1, Petit Bordel 2 …

      Then we could rename Kingstown to “Gros Bordel” and market it to the millions of tourists that will visit our fine home when Argle International Airport becomes “operational” as the “sex tourism capital of the world.”

  4. According to what I read here , Bottles were fired at a crowd of people . Mr James then fired a warning shot in the air .
    He did not discharged his weapon in the crowd who were attacking his supporters . He cannot be charge for that .
    As far as i am concern i think he did the best thing at the moment to stopped those missiles .

  5. This is really reckless and irresponsible behaviour. Is he trained in crowd control? For what purposes is he licensed to carry a gun? I don’t care how careful you are. If you are not trained in crowd control you have no business firing a gun in a crowd. If this is the kind of thoughtless and immature behaviour that is being exhibited now and he is not yet in a real position of power, I shudder to think of what kind of behavior we will see from him if he is made an MP.

    The slide into lawlessness continues.

  6. Harvey Farrell says:

    Kenton I am disappointed with the article. I don’t think the readers have any better understanding about what went on. Was any effort made to get a statement or comment from the police?

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