Following the shots residents said they heard the screaming voice of a female who cried out the victim’s name, “Tuba, Tuba…they kill Tuba”. Another resident who obviously was familiar with the victim is said to have screamed then fainted.
Police have now confirmed that Ashton Williams better known as Tuba, was shot and killed on the corner of Pitcairn Street and Mad House Alley, at approximately 11:40am, on Thursday 20th October, 2011.
Williams is believed to have just returned to the area, after a visit to his barber, when he was gun down about two yards in front of the premises where he was born and grew up as a child. The premises have over the years been transformed and used as part of the operations for a car rental company owned by family members.
While briefing the media after the incident, Sergeant Stephen Hector, the Police Public Relations Officer, told reporters that they received the call of the shooting at approximately 11:40am and police officers responded immediately.
Hector said that upon arrival on the scene their investigations revealed Williams was shot multiple times but he was not yet in a position to state exactly how many. Williams died on the scene, said Hector. It is rumoured that at least one automatic weapon was used in the incident but this was not confirmed by police.
The Police PRO said that they received assistance from various departments of the police force and also from the defense force which carried out searches in nearby districts. He said however, that at this time, all they know is that Williams was shot by an unknown person or persons.
Residents have however indicated that more than one person was involved, though it was not possible to make identifications due to the fact that the assailants were masked.
As the crime scene technicians carried out their investigations, hundreds of residents and people from other parts of Basseterre gathered on the scene, shocked at what they were witnessing.
Included in the crowd was the wife of the victim and at least three of his children, one of whom could not contain herself, breaking down in tears as she watched her father’s lifeless body, lying on the side walk, drenched in blood.
When asked by the wife if it was possible to view the body, police initially rejected the request but subsequently agreed to accommodate the wife, though the children too were hoping for the same allowance. There was an angry crowd reaction when the officer, who said he was in charge, refused to allow the children to also view the body.
“Tuba” Williams’ death now brings the total of homicides in St. Kitts and Nevis to 32, for 2011 and comes exactly one week after last Friday’s killing of a well known West Basseterre resident, Noel “Zambo” Heath, who was shot in front of his home in the early hours, as he entered his vehicle to head to his farm.
Hector said police are following up on leads gained so far as the investigations continue.