Marley Vale mourns

Community unsettled by double murders

The memories of the last tragedy to fact the Gittens and Burgess families of Marley Vale, St Philip erupted back to life as they were forced to deal yet again with the violent deaths of two of their own.

Two years after losing their brother and cousin, Dwayne Burgess, to a shooting, the families last night came face to face with the grim reality of the shooting deaths of young kin by unknown killers.

The usually peaceful atmosphere in the eastern parish was shattered as the sound of gunfire pierced the air, sending residents, some of whom police said were liming in the vicinity of the old Ralphie’s Minimart, scampering.

When the dust settled, 23-year-old Renaldo Gittens and 21-year-old Kyle Rico Sad Boy Burgess, both of Eastpoint, St Philip were dead.

Kyle Rico ‘Sad Boy’ Burgess and Renaldo ‘Conan’ Gittens

This morning all that remained of last night’s story were the thick, curdled bloodstains where the victims took their final breaths.

Burgess’ distraught sister Tonya told Barbados TODAY she had been standing outside her aunt’s home with her children when the incident occurred.

“We were on YouTube listening and singing along with some music. Quick so I hear ‘paps’ and I holler for my aunty and then quick so again I hear ‘pax, pax’. The same time I get this jittery feeling. I holler for Gran to tell her come home and I start to hear everyone screaming out, ‘Conan [Renaldo] dead, Conan dead’ . . . but they didn’t see Rico’s foot was there. They didn’t see him. I was like, ‘where Sad Boy? Where Sad Boy?’ When we look back there and I get halfway somebody holler, ‘you, them is Sad Boy slippers there’. When I went back behind inside there my brother down inside there so dead. My brother wid he brains out,” she recounted.

Her cousin Carolyn stood nearby with tears slowing sliding down her cheeks. She said she arrived from work just after six in the evening and was home listening to music, when her peace was shattered.

“I hear this loud boom. I say, ‘wait, that can’t be a gunshot. Then I heard ‘paddax’. I run outside looking for my mum. I holla for ‘mum, mum, mum, dem is gun shots?’ she said ‘yes’, so I tek off to go for my daughter from next door when I see some fellas running, so I run behind them. They stopped me and told me, ‘don’t go down there, don’t go down there’. I asked them ‘why’? [They said] ‘Conan and Rico dead’. I said, ‘you mekking sport’. When I went down there and I start to walk I see my cousin [Renaldo] there wid all he brains out. I didn’t know that Rico was there inside the shed till somebody tell me that he in there.

“Dem is three men in my family that I lose in two years. In 2015, my other cousin [Dwayne Burgess] went parting a fight and they shoot he . . . .He birthday was the 27th of August which was Sunday, and in less than two days he brother come and join he,” she told Barbados TODAY.

On November 30, 2015, Dwayne, 35, was fatally shot during the St Philip Carnival. Police had arrested and formally charged 18-year-old Hakeem Roberto Stuart of Shelbourne Road, St Lawrence, Christ Church with his murder.

Carolyn noted that after Dwayne’s death, Rico became a bit of a recluse, not wanting to talk to anyone.

“We start calling him Sad Boy because he went into a shell. He didn’t want to talk to nobody, just quiet. Didn’t use to mix up or nothing, but a friend did teach he to go in the sea and he did love the sea.

“Conan, he just used to make you laugh. He did like he belly. He didn’t drink or smoke, nothing. Just was a normal body. The two of them were really close because they both lost their mothers at a close age . . . .They never used to trouble anybody. If Conan saw a fight was going to break out before the fight gine start he going run home. Rico was the same way,” she recounted.

As she spoke some of the young men who used to lime under the shed made quick work of dismantling it, with one of them stating that things would never be the same again there.

“This gotta come down. I mean . . . everytime we see this here you gine remember the two of the men and what happen here. We can’t deal with that sorta memory,” he said.

Residents were, up to midday, trying to clean away the bloodstains.

Meantime, Carolyn took issue with people who have been circulating photographs of the dead cousins on WhatsApp.

Carolyn Gittens

“I don’t like to see nobody that they family get hurt on no social media. That is a personal thing. You ain’t have no right to go putting pictures of people who have been through these kinda things because you don’t know who gine see it, who family member ain’t know what gine on,” she said, adding that her aunt in the United States had seen the images and had not slept since.   

Last night’s killings brought to 25, the number of murders so far this year, three above the total for all of last year. Twenty-one of the killings have been gun related.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who lives a short distance away at Coles Terrace, and Member of Parliament for the area Michael Lashley visited the scene last night.

In condemning the shootings, Lashley called for an end to the violence and further stressed the need for the perpetrators to feel the full weight of the law.

14 Responses to Marley Vale mourns

  1. harry turnover August 31, 2017 at 6:03 am

    De Police gine now come and and organize a walk through to reassure residents that there will be no more shootings and everything will be back to normal.
    It is obvious to me that those killings are revenge COMMUNITY killings therefore how come the Police can’t solve them? of those 21,how many killers have been apprehended ?
    The PM now come out BECAUSE he lives down the road and true to form says NOTHING.
    The powers that be are reluctant to call for OUTSIDE help BECAUSE OUTSIDE help would EXPOSE some BIG BOYS and GIRLS too in guns and drugs therefore I predict that those revenge killings would be close to 40 by year end and approaching 75 before the bell is rung.

    • O. Walrond August 31, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Do you really believe the Police hold the answer to this problem? The walk throughs are not to reassure anyone it won’t happen again; it is make contact with residents and establish a rapport.
      And who says the Police aren’t solving them. Do you read the papers or listen to the news? haven’t you read or heard of the many arrests that have been done?
      This problem does not call for any outside help. All we need is a government that is in tune with the society it governs and has is concerned about the welfare of people rather than its own pensions.

      • Biscuits August 31, 2017 at 11:21 am

        Families need to do their part as well. Some relatives know full well what is going on, but are failing to provide any semblance of guidance. Values…morals..
        have fallen by the wayside. The price of progress???

      • Belfast August 31, 2017 at 11:34 pm

        As a people, we do not believe in our own. We always think that a better job will be done if we bring in a certain type of people from over and away. Many of our top police officers have been trained at Camberly, Hendon,
        FBI and RCMP Academies.

  2. Heather Lashley-monrose
    Heather Lashley-monrose August 31, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Lord have mercy what going on in my Country?

  3. V.I Till I Die August 31, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Bajans, Lend Me Your Ears…. Please remove any video or images of the death of the young men. Respect their families

    • hcalndre August 31, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      @V,l Till l Die; don`t even report it. Should the catastrophes in Texas and other places be reported? pictures of people, some dead, some bleeding and missing body parts making world news, on TV or its only that it happened in Barbados. The days are gone when Barbados could hide but the social media is what was needed to keep people in Barbados and else where in form.

  4. milli watt August 31, 2017 at 9:36 am

    respect their families what about the victims that suffer at the hands a these mobsters stupse. LIVE BY DE GUN YOU ………..

  5. milli watt August 31, 2017 at 9:38 am

    The people who put the pics up were there, friends, fellow bad boys who lime with them. Think about that

    • Jennifer August 31, 2017 at 11:15 am

      I keep saying and will say it again. We are in a cycle which repeats itself. When our black men and women was being destroyed by public hangings years ago and left for days so that from little to big can heartlessly watch and spit. Things are no different today. Only thing this people now turn on their own. The internet is the new public display hub performing the same function as back then. Peace to the family.

  6. jm August 31, 2017 at 9:58 am

    V.I. till I DIE

    don’t tell them nothing…let them go on doing that mess. There’s something called H.I.P.P.A. rights and there’s something called
    internet law. It’s just a matter of time when these will be enforced.

  7. vad50 August 31, 2017 at 10:03 am

    My condolences to the families; may light perpetual shine on them and they rise in glory everlasting.
    I truly believe that some Barbadians have lost their mind. How dare you disrespect the families by posting pictures of their love one on social media; you have no right. How morbid can you be? The families should bring charges against you. Please take the pictures down out of respect for the families; and the community.

  8. Margaret Wilson August 31, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    I hope everyone realizes the tourist is watching all of this on the internet! What will happen to Barbados if in 2 years the tourist stop coming? We have no oil nor Boxite! What then?

  9. Belfast August 31, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Be careful what you wish for!. We have been asking in recent times for a Third Party to rule this country. We now have one that is the de facto government of this country, having attained that position, not by the ballot, but by the bullet, as the elected government appears to have either capitulated or is cowering underground, leaving the people of Barbados up the proverbial creek,…or overflowing sewerage pipe.
    Image the Prime Minister of this country and a resident of St Philip where the recent double slaying took place, is quoted as saying he has nothing to say, now but will say something later, but had no hang ups and hesitations in sending off a message of sympathy to President Trump, over the Texas disaster. Nothing wrong in that itself, but the President himself, would inform the goodly PM that charity begins at home.


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