Commissioner of Police Colin John on Thursday said that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is still a safe place despite the spate of shootings, including one in Kingstown Wednesday night that left five people dead.
“The public is reassured that despite the regrettable spate of violence that we are currently experiencing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, SVG is still a safe place. We have one week ago concluded a successful, enjoyable and generally adverse-incident-free Vincymas. Thousands of people enjoyed the carnival and had fun in a safe environment,” the police chief said in a statement issued via the Police Public Relations and Complaints Department.
“The serious crimes that are being committed are by and large committed by a very small group of people against others of the same ilk. We advised persons to settle their differences in a more mature, civilised and amicable manner. Also, we strongly advocate that persons respect the rights to life of each other,” the statement said.
“The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force is embarking on new methods of policing while utilizing the tried and tested police practices. We coveted your continued cooperation and support in this venture to make all of us safe.”
The police chief confirmed that five people died as a result of the shooting around 8 p.m. in the Harbour Club area, located to the eastern end of the city.
The statement did not disclose their identities but iWitness News has been able to confirm that one of them is a boy, said to be 13 years old.
“The police processed the scene and are carrying out further investigations into these shootings and other offences,” the statement said.
“The members of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force wish to express condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased persons in tonight’s shooting and other victims of homicides in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said the statement, which was issued just before 2 a.m.
“We are also asking anyone with information that can lead to the arrest and conviction of persons who have committed these crimes and other crimes to provide the police with such information. This information can be sent via telephone number 911, 999, 4571211 or 4561810 or any police officer who you are comfortable communicating with.
“Be assured that the information would be held to the strictest of confidence. Additionally, there are laws in place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to give evidence without their identity being revealed. This can be done by virtue of The Witness Special Measure Act.”
After the mass shooting, reports began circulating via social media and some online media outlets of shootings in other parts of the country.
The police, however, said that these reports were all false.
“There is also information being circulated of other shooting incidents in St. Vincent and the Grenadines tonight. This information was checked out and found to be false. There was no shooting in Ottley Hall, Campden Park, Fairbane Pasture or any other part in St. Vincent and the Grenadines tonight. Persons are advised to stop spreading and circulating false information,” the police chief said.
The shootings Wednesday night takes the nation’s homicide count to 35, just seven shy of last year’s record setting 42.
The country has recorded seven killings since Tuesday, including the shooting death of Kemon Roberts, 28, who was shot multiple times in the head while walking to work in Golden Vale, his community, shortly before 8 a.m.
Then, Kingsley “Crime” Shallow, 29, was shot and killed in Montaque, Mesopotamia Tuesday night.
Of the homicides so far this year, three are people shot and killed by police officers in the line of duty and one is a man shot and killed by an off-duty police officer, who claimed that he was an intruder.