BARBADOS TODAY:- Shocking!
That’s how Member of Parliament for St Peter and former Prime Minister Owen Arthur last night described a brazen shooting incident, which occurred literally on his family’s doorstep in Rose Hill, St Peter yesterday after midday.
Arthur, who was born and raised in the quiet community, said he was actually in the area at the time of the shooting, but could not say what had actually occurred, except what family members and other residents had reported to him after he arrived to find the area where he grew up cordoned off with police tape.
Arthur, whose birth home was hit by at least one of the bullets, said it was alarming that what used to be a quiet country district where he was raised had became a scene of random violence.
However, he pointed out that his nephew who lives in the family home was not a target of shooting, even though he expressed concern that he could easily have fallen victim to a stray bullet.
“It is shocking because Rose Hill is a quiet area. The randomness of it really is shocking,” said Arthur, who appeared to be at a loss for words, following the incident that has left several residents in the northern community visibly shaken and fearing for their lives.
Barbados TODAY understands from residents that the shooting incident, which took place just after midday on Thursday, was the result of a dispute over a motorcycle sale that went terribly wrong.
Residents also believe they know who was responsible. In fact, they say the alleged perpetrator, who works on a minibus, had earlier passed through the area levelling threats before returning just after noon in the company of two other men — all of whom were carrying heavy artillery.
The attackers reportedly had one human target in mind — that being the man from whom the chief perpetrator had reportedly only paid a portion of the cost for the motorcycle but was demanding the immediate hand over of ownership.
That man’s home was also riddled with bullets during the daring daylight attack.
However, it was Gwendolyn Benn-Parris’ home which suffered the most damage since that was where the man who was sitting outside with her son at the time sought cover.
A traumatized Benn-Parris, affectionately known in the area as “Sue” and also Arthur’s cousin, toldBarbados TODAY that she did not even want to sleep in her bed last night but eventually took comfort in the fact that neither she nor anyone in her household was the intended target.
Benn-Parris, who was in the back of her home when the shooting started, said as soon as she heard shots ring out she immediately dropped to the ground and did not get back up.
During the melee she also heard her son Pedro warning her to take cover as he also scampered to safety.
Benn-Parris said she only found the courage to move from her position of refuge when the police arrived “in quick time” after she dialed them from the ground.
The bullets left several visible holes in her home, as well as broken windows and glass in her front door. She explained that most of the bullets passed through a front room where her grandson, who was not at home at the time, usually spends most of his time.
“My grandson sits there and plays Nintendo. They would have riddled that little boy, eight years old with bullets,” a still shaken Benn-Parris told Barbados TODAY.
She also said a bullet had pierced through the panels of three bedrooms and ended up in one of her son’s bed, but thankfully, she said, he was not at home at the time.
“It would have hit him in his head because that is just where he lies down,” said the Benn Hill resident, praising God that none of the other occupants of the home was hurt.