“Presently this morning we have a situation which is not one of the best things that we like happening in our community, but what I can say as a police officer , is that basically we had a shooting here in upper market street this morning,” said the Police PRO.
“Sometime around 10:15am a number of persons came to the area, masked as we understand at this point in time, and went on to discharge their firearms in the community. This indeed created quite a lot of stir and alarm and to date, or presently, we understand that there is one lady who has been hospitalized at this moment; who received injuries to her foot,” said Sgt. Hector.
“We have to get a further medical update on her position, but for now, I understand basically that she’s in a stable condition. What I can say is, within one hour of the incident, we have had the support from the community; we have had calls coming in to the Station; we have been able to do some analysis and right now investigators are out and basically everyone is putting their hands to the plough and we are getting some degree of progress in this investigation already.”
“I just want to thank the public and the community for lending their support in such a quick time and being able to pass on information and that is what basically directs and leads investigations when the community comes forward and basically gives some little bit of information no matter how ‘un-useful’, it may seem to you as an individual and I basically just want to go on record just thanking the community for their support thus far.”
“I also want to say to basically the citizens at large, the entire full strategic plan of the police force to combat crime is presently in operational mode and we are out their basically ensuring that all the security forces are basically on high alert.”
Hector said, “I know that the Defense Force is also out on the ground and also the police force. We are working together to ensure that we basically bring back a sense of normalcy and basically what I would say, to restore the queen’s peace, in the quickest possible time. So I just want you to give the confidence right now to the security forces as we are doing all in our power right now to ensure that we restore the country to what I would say a state of normalcy, a place where peace, in fact, abounds.”
Over 13 shots are believed to have been fired with police marking the location of the spent cartridges. It is also confirmed that at least one shot made its mark on a pick-up truck that happened to be in the area, with the trucker, managing to escape injury, though he was not too far away from the unlucky woman who was it.
Any name on the lady?
I do not have those fine details as yet, but what I would say to you is that, in a later update today may be in about two hours time, I’ll be able to have more specifications for you with regards to this shooting incident.
What about the circumstances of the lady in the area? Was she sitting, standing or walking by?
Sgt. Hector: Well from my information right now the lady was just an innocent by stander, sitting and was just succumbed to becoming a victim of this crime. It’s very hurtful to me; it’s bad.
Sgt. Sgt. Hector: when things happen when persons who are rivaling… but it’s also worse when innocent persons in the community just become wounded.
There are reports that the Police have somebody in custody, is that correct?
Sgt. Hector: Well I would not confirm that to say that the police have someone in custody. What I would say to you is that the public is responding positively and at this stage the police is actually making good head way in that matter and what I would say to you in the next two hours when I give you an update I will surely clarify and at least confirm or deny such report.
Can you say how many masked men that were actually there?
Sgt. Hector: Well I do not want to say at this time, but I know for sure it was more than one and we are basically going to confirm those reports whether it was much more than one or two or more but at this stage we know for sure that there was much more than one in the area.
Sgt. Hector: Can you also confirm… there’s a rumour going around that there was a shooting shortly after in the vicinity of the electricity department is that true?
Sgt. Hector: At this stage I cannot clearly say much about the incident, except to say that we know, as a result of this incident at Market Street, persons involved in the shooting did run down in that direction and police would have in fact made some headway in that location but I’m not able to say definitely there was not a shooting but what I can say to you is that it seems that it was apparently a spill over from the same incident with persons moving across Basseterre.
So police were actually in the area?
Sgt. Hector: Police responded quickly, responded very quickly to the incident and I think they met some individuals who might have been involved to some extend in the incident. Whether it was persons from Market Street who were running as a result of fear or actual offenders, they caught up with some persons at that location further down in Basseterre, so I don’t think it is a separate incident to suggest that ok there was more than one shooting within a spate of maybe 5, 10 minutes; it was just basically a wide crime scene
Would you be able to comment on the other shooting incidents?
Sgt. Hector: Well officially you will get a press release on that, at this time I just wanted to basically reassure the public that yes, although we have had a number of incidents early this morning, last night and now this shooting incident, I just wanted to reassure the public that the police full strategic plan in countering crime is now in full operations and all the security forces are basically working in to ensure we restore peace and normalcy.
One last thing, I noticed that some security forces were in the Newtown area and George Street area; is this part of the strategy as well?
Sgt. Hector: Yes these are wider strategies at work and what I would say to you is we are now in full gear and full operations. We have operational units out, intelligence units out and basically I just want you to feel reassured that we are doing what is necessary to restore normalcy in the community.
In a press briefing later on Friday afternoon the Police indicated that they now have one person in custody, related to the Market Street shooting and another being sought.
They have now released the name of the Market Street woman, who was injured. She is Calbertha Hendrickson, 81 years old.
In the meantime, PRO Hector has indicated that they have good intelligence on the persons involved in all three shootings and are currently in search of these perpetrators.
The police confirmed that they have enough information to identify their suspects.