Four men shot in North Leeward mountains in evening ambush
December 28, 2012

Four men shot in North Leeward mountains in evening ambush

by: Taranjah Yaw & Kenara Woods Fri Dec 28, 2012

Four men sat chatting in a shack in the Morne Ronde mountains of North Leeward when a stranger emerged from the dark, claiming that he had just arrived from Martinique.{{more}} The stranger claimed to have a laptop and $10,000 and said he wanted to purchase marijuana. After examining the “merchandise”, the stranger left, claiming the quality wasn’t good enough for him.

Five minutes later, gunfire erupts, leaving two men dead and two injured.

This is the picture painted by Josiah Lavia, 40, about what took place on Saturday, December 22, about 7 p.m. He spoke with SEARCHLIGHT from his bed at the Male Surgical Ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, where he was nursing gunshot wounds to both thighs. SEARCHLIGHT also interviewed him on Monday.

Ezra Matthews, 38, of Petit Bordel and another man, Bernard “Jabin” Ollivierre of Vermont, were shot and killed in the same incident.

According to Lavia, another man, Jerry Williams of Redemption Sharpes was also present during the incident, but he is not clear if Williams was shot, as Williams was treated and discharged from the hospital.

Lavia said that when the stranger first approached, the man kept a flashlight in their faces and that they only saw one person, but others may have been hiding nearby.

“Me throw way meself. Me get one shot first then I throw way meself. When me dey dey, me see Ezra ah run come, but he get the shot and fall down,” Lavia said.

“Me run and on my own, I crawl back and meet one ah de man (Ezra) dead, but the next one, me na been see,” he said.

Lavia noted that this is the second time that he has been shot at in the mountains. He recalled that the first time he was lucky to escape unhurt.

“People roll pon me ahready ah bush, but never get shoot. Me get time fo run. Me just feel bad, but me haffo feel good because me get life. Me just feel it fo who dead, because we ain’t trouble nobody,” Lavia added.

“I feel it fo Jabin an Ezra, but me glad me alive, you see me na ha nutten but me life, but Ezra dem got children an dem nar go see dem agen, so me thankful” Lavia said. Lavia also said that he wants to be done with the bush life, as it is becoming more dangerous but he doesn’t know what he is going to do to survive.

Lavia’s sister, Vashti Edwards, told SEARCHLIGHT that her brother is not a trouble maker and that she wants to know who shot him.

“I’m just thankful that he’s alive, but I want to know who shoot him,” she reiterated.

Susan Edwards of Petit Bordel, with whom Ezra Matthews had been in a relationship for the past 11 years, said she received the news that he had been killed at about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“I couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night, cause Ezra was everything to me; is just faith that have me here right now,” Susan said.

Ezra and Susan are parents to a nine-year-old, a six year old and a two-month-old baby.

“We want justice fo dem and me children dem war justice, because Ezra and Jabin never do nobody anything, so we want justice” Susan said.

On Sunday morning, a coastguard vessel took police personnel, along with two senior nurses from the Chateaubelair hospital, to the Morne Ronde area, following which the bodies of the two dead men were transported to Kingstown.

Reports say that Ezra was shot in the back of the head as he tried to escape, while Jabin was shot multiple times and died in the shack.

Police say they are continuing investigations into the matters and up to press time, no arrests had been made.

Last weekend’s homicides bring the number for the year to 28. Eleven of these homicides were as a result of shooting; four of these homicides took place in the Morne Ronde area.