Gunplay in The Pine

While residents of The Pine, St Michael said they were used to outbreaks of gunfire, the brazen manner in which two men were shot last night came as a surprise to many of them.

At around 9 p.m. 40-year-old Kerwin Depeche and 35-year-old Ryan Quimby were hanging out with other men at a shop in the area of Block 5, Bottom Close in Wildey, St Michael when an unknown assailant exited a van and opened fire on the group of men, injuring Depeche and Quimby. Depeche was shot in his right foot, while Quimby was shot twice in his left thigh.

The area in Bottom Close, Wildey, St Michael where an unknown assailant opened fire on the group of men last night injuring Kerwin Depeche and Ryan Quimby

When Barbados TODAY visited the area, known as Dungeon, residents were prepared to comment, but on strict condition of anonymity.

Some described the incident as chilling, but most said it was unprecedented in its brazenness.

The area known as Dungeon.

“We live in The Pine [so] this is something we know about. Gunshots are a norm out here, but it [last night’s incident] was like something out of a movie,” one man exclaimed.

Another concerned person blamed old rivalries for the violence in the community, although he did not suggest this to be the case with last night’s shooting.

“All of these things are escalated from old violence, then a man get piece of money, buys a firearm and come and ring some shots in you.

“Tings dread. Bare idiots got guns so you can expect anything at any time.”

Another resident sought to hold the country’s political leaders responsible, suggesting they were not setting good examples.

He also said the authorities were placing attention of the wrong people, expending energy on the “ghetto youth”, while the real culprits responsible for importing illegal guns were left untouched.

“I can’t go and buy a container of guns. The big people is who does bring in these guns. They gonna bring them and sell them cheap and make them money. [Do you] feel them care?”

Commenting on last night’s shooting, Member of Parliament for St Michael South East Santia Bradshaw told Barbados TODAY inter-community rivalries had led to the incident.

“Within the last few months and years there has been a decrease in inter-community conflict in the constituency. You haven’t really been hearing The Pine being a major issue. To my understanding this is an incident where someone from outside the community came in,” she said.

Bradshaw added that the spike in violent crime, which has seen 22 murders committed so far this year, matching the total for all of last year, would likely hurt the business community and leave residents living in fear for their lives.

“It is unfortunate that yet again innocent people have been forced into a situation where they feel unsafe with their community. Business in the community has been impacted and a lot of work has been done to get people to feel safe coming back to Pinelands. So it is unfortunate that something like this has happened where it is not internal conflict,” she said.

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