PM urges Vincentians: ‘Be calm’ and do not panic
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves
July 21, 2023
PM urges Vincentians: ‘Be calm’ and do not panic

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in an address to the nation on Thursday, July 20, urged Vincentians to remain calm and not to panic as investigations continue into the killing of five males hours prior, on July 19.

Lamont Hector, D’Ondre Hillocks, Jamal Bobb, Ricky Taylor and teenager Kashie Primus were killed in the former Harbour Club area, at Upper Bay Street when gunmen opened fire around 8:00 p.m.

“The first thing I want to do is to indicate to our people, we must be calm, we must not panic, we have to be resolute in fighting the criminals,” said Gonsalves who spoke to the nation from Morocco.

The Prime Minister added that he is working along with his Cabinet and the Commissioner of Police in efforts to address the number of gun killings.

“For tactical and operational reasons, I can’t say what all those measures are, but I want to appeal to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, people in the communities, to assist the police with any information they may have.”

The Prime Minister said the police already have certain leads and over the next few days, they will “be able to get a better handle as to who and what are responsible for these killings.”

Gonsalves said some of the guns are being imported from the United States of America along with drugs, and that the police as well as border control, customs and immigration are on high alert.

“This fascination with guns and the guns coming in from the United States of America, and the ease at which they come in- and then it is mixed with drugs and other matters of vanity and all kinds of quest for power through the guns, all of these things are an intoxicating mix.”

The Prime Minister extended condolences to the families of those who died in Wednesday night’s mass shooting, and sought to reassure the nation that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.