Barbados Today:-An impassioned appeal was made to the authorities today to take urgent action to stem the worrying tide of gun crimes following another brazen shooting incident.
Four days after deadly gunplay took Grand Kadooment revellers by surprise, the popular Fairchild Street Market in The City was the scene of the latest ‘Wild, Wild West’ episode as an unknown gunman opened fire, sending vendors, taxi men and pedestrians into immediate panic as they all scurried to safety.
However, the intended victim, as well as one innocent bystander, did not emerge unscathed.
Police this afternoon confirmed that a 41-year-old woman, whose identity was not revealed, had suffered a gunshot injury to her right thigh, while a male, in his 30s, was said to have suffered two gunshot wounds – one to his foot and the other to his back.
According to police, the victim was known to his attacker.
Eyewitnesses also told Barbados TODAY that the unidentified gunman had crossed the street and started firing at his intended target, with the shootout continuing all the way to the back of the City market in an area known as ‘Vincy Town’.
“They had two men standing up. So one come across the road and start to beat down at all two of them,” said one man who did not want to be identified by name. He also said the injured woman was socializing with a group of friends when she was hit by a stray bullet.
When the Barbados TODAY team arrived at the scene, there were bullet shells scattered across the crime scene, which was cordoned off by police. There was also a noticeable trail of blood at the entrance of the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal, where the male victim reportedly sought refuge from his attacker before he was escorted out by security and taken by private vehicle for medical treatment.
“You should have seen me ducking,” said another eyewitness who was admittedly still in total shock over the incident which comes in the wake of Monday’s shooting incident that occurred during the climax of Crop Over and left 20-year-old Tareid Rock dead and at least 18 others injured.
Noticeably shaken up by the incident, he also demanded that the authorities find a solution to the increasing gun violence on the island.
“If they don’t start to hang people, all of this is not going to stop because the youngsters telling themselves that they are going to do this crime, they are going to spend this nine years, five years, ten years [in jail] and they are going to come out.
“That is the mentality that they have, that they are young and they going to spend time and they are going to come out,” he lamented while questioning what would it take for the authorities to start hanging people again.
Noel Reece, who frequents the Fairchild Street Market, was looking to purchase some lottery tickets when the shooting occurred.
Reece, who used to work in a funeral home, said while he did not fear death, he also felt that it was time for a re-introduction of the death penalty, which was last carried out here in 1984.
“People say that hanging isn’t going to solve the problem but what the Government got to do is try something because if you try something you know the public will be satisfied. Just try something, don’t say that nothing ain’t going to work. Try the whip or try the hanging, try something and people will be pleased with the Government,” Reece said, while criticizing recent statements made by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite on the matter.
“The Attorney General saying that hanging start in Trinidad and the crime rate still high . . . [but] nobody ain’t want to hear that. We want to hear we going to try something [and] if it ain’t work, we still pleased that you tried,” Reece explained.
The issue of crime and violence has been on everyone’s lips in recent days with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart recalling today during a national consultation that a study was carried out in 2005 by sociologist Dr Richard Carter for the Anglican Church.
It showed that 78 per cent of the people surveyed thought that crime and violence was the number one problem in Barbados.
And while contending that crime and violence did not happen overnight and it was not going to end overnight, the Prime Minister said: “We have to steel ourselves to deal with the challenges thrown up by these occurrences.
“Every last one of us has a responsibility to contribute to that effort. I assure you from the Government’s end it will do what it has to do to discharge its responsibility to ensure that Barbadians do not live lives paralyzed by fear.”