Injured cop makes appeal
He is listed among the recent victims of rising gun crime.
And what injured police officer Jonathan Barrow wants more than anything else is for this island to see the back of the recent worrying scourge that has claimed six lives so far this year.
This month alone, two men have died by the gun.
As he stood helplessly at the scene in Bayfield, St Philip this week where the body of Michael Mapp was discovered in a shallow grave, Barrow, also of St Philip, made an impassioned appeal to island’s youth to put down their guns.
Speaking out publicly for the first time on his shooting, which occurred on July 26th last year while he was off-duty, Barrow told Barbados TODAY his life was changed forever.
“My family was having a birthday party at the Pot and Barrel [restaurant in St Philip] and I reached there about 5:30[p.m.]. Then I heard there was a commotion outside and one of the guys told me to come.
“I saw two vehicles involved in an accident. I went forward, identified myself. On doing that, the guy ran through, snatched the guy’s chain, I apprehended him, his friends opened fire on me and I had to run,” he recalled.
However, Barrow did not immediately realize that he had been shot.
It was one of the women on the scene who alerted him to the fact that he was bleeding.
“When I looked I had three shots in my foot,” Barrow said, pointing to the scars which are still very visible on his lower leg and heel.
While grateful that he can still move around, the injured cop told Barbados TODAY he has been greatly impacted by the attack.
“I have problems walking and cannot wear shoes for a long time,” he explained.
Barrow also said it was upsetting to him that his shooters still have not been found as yet, adding “ we have to live in fear”.
The police officer is yet to return to work following the ordeal, which he said had not only changed his outlook on life but has also left him very unsure about whether he wants to continue with a career in law enforcement.
Nonetheless, he wants the youth of Barbados to turn away from a life of crime, as it is having a negative impact on society.
“I would like to see all the guns off the road. This particular community lost another friend, Scherno Rose in the shooting at Neil’s Tenantry, and this gun violence has to stop,” he said, adding, “It’s not safe to lime, to hang out, it’s not even safe to carry out your children because you have to be wondering what is going to happen.”
Rose met his demise at Neil’s Tenantry, St Michael on May 12. The 40-year-old father of two was among a group of people gathered in the area when several men approached them and opened fire. He sustained gunshot wounds to his upper torso and collapsed and died a short distance away.
Four men, including one teenager, have been charged with the murder of the former employee of Royal Westmoreland, and are currently on remand until June 20 when they are due to make their second court appearance.
Rose’s death came two days after City businessman Colin Forde was gunned down in front of his business on Baxter’s Road.
The 50-year-old owner of Colin’s Bar and Lounge succumbed to his injuries after he was riddled with bullets by two unidentified men.
Investigations into the murder are continuing and so far no one has been arrested in connection with the shooting.