A police officer stationed at Straker’s house, furthest right, open fire on the men, one of whom was later found in a pirogue anchored off jackson Bay. (IWN photo)

The barrage of gunfire that woke residents of Ruthland Vale, Layou early Sunday morning was not an attempt on the life of Deputy Prime Minister Louis Straker, as some residents of the Central Leeward town have rumoured.

Commissioner of Police Michael Charles, however, told iWitness News on Monday that a member of the police security detailed assigned to the senior government official was involved in the shooting.

Charles said that since the December 2015 general elections, Straker has been assigned a police security detail.

The officer on duty at Starker’s house, which is located relatively close to Jackson Bay in Ruthland Vale is said to have seen some men carrying what appeared to be a body.

Charles told iWitness News that the officer identified himself as a police officer and ordered the men to halt.

One of the men is said to have reached into his waist as if to retrieve an object and the police officer opened fire.

The men are said to have fled, leaving behind what turned out to be a vault.

Triple S Super Market

The police officer called for back up and lawmen were later summoned to Jackson Bay, where someone reported hearing cries for help.

Charles said that officers arrested an injured man, who is in hospital.

He is believed to have been shot by the member of Straker’s detail, Charles said, adding that the man is also a suspect in the burglary that same night of Triple S Super market, located also in Layou.

The shooting and subsequent police operation sent the rumour mills in the Central Leeward town grinding, with some residents churning out stories that there was an attempt on the life of the deputy Prime Minister.

They further claimed that the development was related to the on-going saga surrounding the election results in that district, which the opposition is contesting in court.

A resident of the area said they heard three gunshots, a pause, four more gunshots, then a barrage of gunfire.

Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Louis Straker. (IWN file photo)
Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Louis Straker. (IWN file photo)

As the police operation continued after dawn, a group of police officers walked on the beach at Jackson Bay and trained their guns on a man who was aboard a pirogue anchored about 20 feet away from the shoreline and ordered him to come ashore, a resident told iWitness News.

Witnesses said that after some time, someone dressed in what looked like swimming trunks, swam out to the vessel and grabbed the man.

A second person swam out to the pirogue and the man was brought ashore.

Police officers are said to have removed from the vessel what appeared to be three handguns and other items while the man remained kneeling on the beach, surrounded by police officers.

Witnesses said there was what appeared to have been blood on the beach where the man was kneeling while the police processed the scene.

4 replies on “Deputy PM’s security shoots suspected vault thief”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    Since there is no school this week — not that much is taught or learned when it is in session — here are my Tuesday morning spelling and history lessons:

    1. “Jackson Bay” should read “Jackson’s Bay” (as on the original 18th century maps). Josiah Jackson was the founding owner of Rutland Vale Estate which he purchased soon after SVG was ceded to Great Britain by the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

    2. “Ruthland Vale” should read “Rutland Vale” (as on the original title deed to the estate) who likely named it after Rutland county in England which may have been his home (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutland).

    ***

    The same holds true for the chronic misspelling of “Rillan Hill” which all the early maps and records show as being spelt “Rilland Hill.” “Rilland” is an English surname; presumably, someone named Rilland — probably a plantation owner — gave his name to the place.

    For a proper spelling of places in SVG, see the following Wikipedia article:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities,_towns_and_villages_in_Saint_Vincent_and_the_Grenadines

    The obvious reason for misspelling Rutland is because in our creole dialect we pronounce ‘th” as “t”; contemporary folk spelling has somehow compensated for this by wrongly adding a “t.”

    In the case of Rilland, our folk dialect does not pronounce the “d”, “t”, “g” and other consonants at the ends of most words as in don'[t], runnin[g], and hol[d]. For example, “Me don hol back from runnin.”

    End of lesson; go back to sleep.

  2. Isn’t robbery and burglary a holiday tradition in SVG, even in Bequia where they robbed and stole a number of safes on every Old Years Night now for a number of years.

    I think it was very unkind to fire that gun without knowing exactly what was going on.

    Yes Vinciman they were out fishing when they found the vault [safe] floating so the took it ashore for safe keeping, they were not keeping the safe, they took is ashore for safe keeping.

    They should sue the policeman and claim finder keepers on the safe they found and demand the police keep it safe somewhere, I can safely say that without even cracking a smile because its safe to do so whilst vaulting around my balcony feeling safe.

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