Residents paralyzed by fear of regular shootings

A pall of terror hangs over Black Rock and its environs, made thicker by Monday’s killing of 20-year-old Taried Junior Rock of 3rd Ave Chapman Lane, St Michael during Grand Kadooment on Spring Garden Highway, residents say.

An explosion of gunfire in the waning moments of the street jump up also left approximately 18 people nursing injuries, including a six-year-old boy who was grazed by a bullet.

However, even before Monday’s incident, residents of Black Rock and the nearby Deacons community were no strangers to indiscriminate shootings.

Only days earlier, rapid volleys of gunshots rang out in Deacons Farm just after midnight in an apparent celebration of last month’s release of death row inmates Vincent Edwards and Richard Haynes.

The violence is generally attributed to gang warfare, a suggestion that was given credence by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith who declared on Tuesday that there were 16 criminal gangs operating in the Black Rock area.

The fear gripping law abiding residents was obvious when Barbados TODAY visited the troubled communities that straddle St Michael West Central represented in Parliament by James Paul, and St Michael North West represented by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler.

“I got fears . . . every moment. I am a mother of four and I fear for my children. I want these lawless youths to stop it [the violence] and let us get back to God,” said a resident of Rosemont, Black Rock who did not want to be identified for fear of her own safety.

“I am fearful for the gunshots. I am fearful. I could be walking, I could be here in my house doing what I got to do and something unfortunate happen. It too prevalent. I am a mother of three and fear for them,” a female householder in nearby Fernihurst added, while expressing apprehension over being seen talking to the media by people on the block.

The woman said her fears continued to linger following the shooting on Spring Garden.

“I was on Spring Garden . . . . I had passed there about five minutes before [the shooting]. It could have been anybody’s child [that was killed]. My children were down there.”

Like the woman in Rosemont, she said the rest of Barbados should be concerned about what is happening in the Black Rock community “because if we don’t curb it now, it is going to extend to other places”.

When Barbados TODAY reached out to another Fernihurst resident, he briefly appeared at his window to state it was not safe to talk.

Of course, there were those, such as another Rosemont resident who also preferred anonymity, who were not worried about their own safety.

However, they too haboured fears for their children and the young ones of the community.

“I agree they [his three grandchildren] could be in the right place at the wrong time,” the retiree told Barbados TODAY as he sat in the front room of his house chatting with his brother who was visiting from another district.

“The shooting [on Monday] wake me up, but wuh happen, happen. I fear no man. If you destroy me, somebody will destroy you,” the elderly resident stressed.

Over in Deacons Farm, Walter Carrington was also concerned, but for his 19-year-old son, who “doesn’t get into anything, but you know you don’t have to be in anything to be affected”.

Carrington, who has lived in the Black Rock area for all of his 46 years, said most of the shootings are motivated by revenge.

“The men know who they shooting. I see many gangs come and go,” added the father of one.

Since the most recent outbreak of violence, there has been increased police presence in the Black Rock area.

It is a welcomed development for one elderly woman from Rosemont, who said while she did not really fear living in the area, she felt safer knowing that lawmen were patrolling her community.

However, not everyone is pleased with the increased police activity.

Two Rosemont men who sat in their verandah as they spoke with Barbados TODAY, made it clear they were concerned that children were not playing outside because of the shootings.

However, they were terribly aggrieved at the frequent visits by heavily armed police, arguing that Rosemont was being unfairly targeted.

“Police come all hours of the night. Police moving through here every minute of the day, even before Monday’s incident. They run through with guns and the fellows on the block feel harassed . . . . All they doing is trying to pressure the fellows into reacting to them in a way that would cause them to arrest them,” the younger man told Barbados TODAY

He also bitterly complained that during last Monday’s Kadooment Day the area was almost locked down by police “but still nothing ain’t happen here . . . the shooting happened on Spring Garden”.   

In Belfield, Grazettes and Fairfield most of the residents said they were not living in fear because their communities were generally quiet.

However they are worried about the safety of their children, and the impact the gun violence could have on the country and its tourism.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

2 Responses to Residents paralyzed by fear of regular shootings

  1. hcalndre August 12, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Whoever say that they`re terribly aggrieved because of the armed police visits in their neighborhood. Where I am when incidents like what happened the police set up a command and have those mobile lights and cameras right there 24/7, what would those who said they are aggrieved would do? If the police would patrol these areas that are call blocks, 24/7, let their present be seen, the block fellas would move on.

    Reply
  2. Kevin August 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Call crime stoppers. These residents know who are the trouble makers.

    Reply

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