Late night shooting baffles Bush Hall
Dwight Holder’s frantic flight from under a tree at Bedford Lane, Bush Hall, St Michael after gunmen opened fire there last night, was in vain.
Holder fled in a desperate attempt to save his life, running through a nearby track seeking safety. Instead of protection and security, he was confronted by more gunmen who pumped multiple bullets into his body, leaving him lying lifeless next to a galvanized paling.
Holder, 29, a teacher at Half Moon Fort Primary School in St Lucy, died on the spot.
Two other men, John Weekes and Nicholas Weekes, 27, a cousin of Holder, were also shot and had to be rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in private vehicles. They remained hospitalized tonight. John was reported to be in serious but stable condition while Nicholas’ injuries were said to be not life-threatening .
Holder, a former Combermere student, was looking forward to the birth of his first child, a baby girl, next month.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited the area this morning, Holder’s distraught relatives and residents of the close-knit community, were struggling to come to grips with the loss of a progressive young man who, they said, has never gotten into trouble with the law. Some sat in a reflective mode while a few quietly wept.
Those gathered wanted to know why the life of “one of the best and innocent young men in Barbados” who just bought a house, was taken so tragically, so senselessly. Most of them were repeating to themselves, ‘it could have been me’.
Holder’s mother, Carolyn, was finding it hard to cope with the loss of her only child, and had to be taken to a doctor today. Family members said the mother of his unborn child also had to be seen by a doctor.
Holder’s aunt Yvette was in shock as she recalled how the incident unfolded just after 11 p.m.
“I was in bed sitting down and I just hear gunshots. Then I hear my nephew said ‘you believe I just get shoot’
“Then he said ‘would you believe that Dwight get shoot and I feel he dead because Dwight there flat on his face on the ground’,” she said.
The aunt explained that almost every night her deceased nephew, a resident of Blackmans Development, St Joseph, would visit his family in the area. She believed last night’s shooting was a case of mistaken identity, with Holder and the two other men in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“We want justice because Dwight is innocent. My quiet, peaceful, innocent nephew gone,” the aunt said, noting that she had a long sleepless night.
Holder’s cousin Shane Marshall indicated: “He wasn’t
from this neighbourhood but up to last night, people saying that the only thing they know Dwight to do when he come out here is laugh.
“He don’t quarrel, he don’t raise he voice. He was one of the coolest people. He died so senselessly.”
Those who gathered spoke about how much Holder loved his profession and how he desired to see his students succeed.
Nearby, Andrea Holder, another aunt of the deceased, was crying out that she did not know how she would have managed if she had also lost her son, Nicholas, a chef and the father of a four-year-old daughter who has been asking for her daddy since the incident.
“When I went to the hospital and I see my son, I tell myself, I lost my nephew and I could have lost my only child also. I don’t know what I would do if I had lost both of them,” she said.
Andrea said it could have been even worse had the attack occurred 45 minutes earlier when almost two dozen residents, including children and the elderly, were sitting outside in that same area, some playing 13-hand tonk, some just relaxing.
“We were right there at that same spot playing cards. People were liming on the benches as usual and we heard shots on the other side. And we said, ‘you see this, we
going in’ and we all went in, but Dwight did not come as yet. I took a shower and went to Morning Glory [Q in The Community].
“While I was there, my neighbour called me and said ‘Ann as you left, bullets . . .’ and I say ‘put down, I will call home’. When I call home, my sister tell me to come home now because Nicholas and Dwight get hit,” Andrea recalled.
She stressed that it was painful to listen to her son recounting the incident.
“My son told me when he was going in to bathe my nephew car pull up and he stepped back out because somebody was in the shower and they sat down under those two chairs. Nicholas say, ‘Mummy, I see these men coming and I hear pax and I feel a burning and I tell Dwight run boy, bullets. . .’
“Them run through there and butt up on some more men coming through. My son said he [Nicholas] fell and them open fire and that is how my nephew got killed and my son got the extra shots. Them [Nicholas and Dwight] thought that they running from the men,” a tearful Andrea said.
Hugging Andrea close was resident and family friend Kiana Seales who could not hold back her tears.
“It could have been more of we because all of we did now left out here,” she said amid the tears.
Sergeant Christopher Griffith, a community police officer who has worked in the area for the past 20 years, was on hand to comfort and console Holder’s family members whom he has known for many years.
“I am here to reassure them that my department will do the best that we can for the safety of this community,” Sergeant Griffith said.