Yesterday, one day before the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) was slated to hold a march and rally against crime and violence in Layou, the grim reaper struck for the fourth time in six weeks in that west coast town.
At around 5 pm on November 23, Jimodean “Jim” Sam, of Akers Road, Layou, was making his way along the main road in an area known as Ferret, when he was pounced upon by what investigators believe were two men, one armed with a gun and one with a machete.
Sam, a farmer in his forties, was chopped and shot as he walked from lands he farmed in the Palmice mountains. A male relative was several steps behind Sam and managed to flee the scene unhurt.
The murder of the man, a father of three, who has been described as a “cool guy”, is the 50th for the year in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and some residents believe that the most recent killing is part of an ongoing dispute that has claimed the lives of three other men since October.
Before Thursday’s brutal killing came the death on Saturday November 18, of Leon “Zacchaeus” Gaymes of Texier Road. Reports are that around 8 pm, Gaymes was struck at least six times by a masked man’s bullets and died on his way to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH).
Before Gaymes’s murder, came the killing of Tambu Patrick, the Layou resident who was shot and killed on Sunday November 5. After Patrick died, Gaymes and two other family members were detained by police for questioning but were later released.
Also killed in Layou was “Smoke”, real name Delarno Kyle Corney Patrick. Smoke, a construction worker at the Sandals Resorts in Buccament was shot and killed at around 1 am on Sunday, October 15, in Middle Street, Layou.
Smoke, 33, of Layou, was on his way home when he was accosted and shot about 10 times about his body, the gunman using the darkness of the area to conceal his crime.
Coincidentally, Smoke, this country’s 42nd homicide victim, was close friends with this country’s 37th homicide victim Jervarny “Luche” Baptiste.
Jervarny, 29, of Ottley Hall, was shot around 8 a.m. on Thursday September 7 in Buccament while making his way to work on the construction site of the Sandals Resort. He was shot as much as 16 times and died on the spot in an area close to the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School.
This latest shooting has served to further unsettle residents who are already upset over the state of affairs in their community.
Police are investigating all the murders mentioned in this article and up to press time they remained unsolved.
Meanwhile today, the Layou Community in collaboration with the RSVGPF will hold a march and rally against crime and violence under the theme “Love is the answer.”
The march will commence at 10 am at Velox Corner, move through Rutland Vale and Cashville and then onto the Layou Public Road then to the Layou waterfront to where the rally will be held.
The rally will hear from Divisional Commander of the South Western Division, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Nigel Butcher, Acting Commissioner of Police Enville Williams, Parliamentary Representative for Central Leeward Dr Orando Brewster, and a pledge by a member of the Layou Police Youth Club.
Special prayers will also be rendered by members of the clergy for the following groupings, the community at large, law enforcement officers, community leaders and the youths.
There will performances by Dr. Alston “Becket” Cyrus and others and persons participating in the march and rally are encouraged to wear white.