A 34-year-old city resident who was shot and robbed last Easter Monday in Marchand, Castries has died, relatives have confirmed.
Dwight “Smokey” Louis, a resident of Independence City, in the area of Entrepot, passed away at 7:29 a.m. today (Sunday, May 12) in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Victoria Hospital, relatives have told St. Lucia News Online.
On Sunday, his relatives gave St. Lucia News Online an account of what transpired on that public holiday, Monday, April 22.
According to them, Louis was walking home when he was attacked by three masked men, who shot him in the abdomen. After Louis fell, the gunmen took his wallet and cell phone then escaped on foot. The attack occurred around 11 p.m. near the Trou Rouge gap and TJ’s supermarket.
Relatives went on to say that Louis got up and ran some distance but collapsed again. Passersby saw him and immediately called emergency lines but got no answer, relatives told St. Lucia News Online.
As a result, passersby called the Marchand Police Station. By the time the cops arrived Louis had lost a lot of blood, but the lawmen wasted no time and transported him to Victoria Hospital.
According to relatives, the shot to his abdomen ruptured his liver and small intestines, resulting in two surgeries. They say he was “not strong enough” to do a third surgery.
Louis’ death has left the family “broken” but they are still “holding on”, St. Lucia News Online was told. However, they are not necessarily seeking answers as they were told by an eyewitness that the incident was an apparent “mistaken identity shooting”.
According to the relatives, the eyewitness, who could not identity the gunmen as they were wearing masks, said after shooting Louis, one of the bandits said “that’s not the fella”. Another insisted that they kill him nonetheless. They subsequently searched a dying Louis and took his wallet and phone.
Relatives said Louis was not known to be involved in illegal activity or associated with gangs. At the time of his death he was working with his stepfather at a clothing store in the city. Persons, writing on Facebook, have expressed shocked at his passing. Some were even unaware he was shot.
Louis’ mother passed away a couple years ago from cancer, relatives said.
No one has been arrested for the shooting, which has now turned into an official homicide statistic.
Louis is the second person to have died as a result of the recent upsurge of violence in the Marchand community.
At least six people have been injured in separate shootings:
— April 18, 2019: Chad Ramsey, 33, of Rockhall, Marchand was shot in the head around midday while walking with a male relative. Ramsey fell on the sidewalk, at an intersection, near Broglie Street, and died. The relative escaped unharmed. A video circulating on social media shows Ramsey, face down, bleeding profusely on the concrete sidewalk. After his death, violence broke out in Marchand, however police have not said officially that his killing is linked to other incidents. A person claiming to be Ramsey’s friend had disclosed in a Facebook post that retaliation was inevitable.
— April 18, 2019: Michael Deterville, a resident of Rock Hall, Castries, was shot in Trou Rouge, Marchand — hours after Ramsey’s killing. Details about this shooting were not available.
— April 20, 2019: The Marchand Police Station received a report of a shooting incident at 11 p.m. in the Marchand area. Two persons were shot: Maria Willie, 56, of Trou Rouge, who sustained a gunshot wound in the right knee area and 47-year-old Donovan Williams, of Maynard Hill, Castries, who sustained a gunshot wound to his right heel. The injuries to both victims were not life-threatening. It was alleged that the shooting occurred at a karaoke event in Marchand. A source said gunmen opened fire at a male individual, hitting Williams and Willie. It was not clear if Williams was the target. No further information was available.
— April 21, 2019: Law enforcement confirmed that they received reports of gunshots being fired in areas of Marchand but there were no reports of injuries. “My sister said she ran inside,” one source said. “She said all through the day there was gunshots.”
— April 25, 2019: There was an alleged shootout between police on foot patrol and gunmen in an area in Marchand but there were no reports of injuries. “The place is turning into a war zone and I seriously don’t understand why those guys feel it is okay just to shoot for fun. Where are the guns coming from? These guys just tarnish the Marchand area,” a source familiar with the Marchand area told St. Lucia News Online at the time.
— May 5, 2019: Residents of areas in and around Marchand reported hearing gunshots but there were no reports of injuries or death. Our newsroom received the first report of a shooting at 7:45 p.m., but no additional information was available. However, at 8 p.m. we received another report of a shooting in the Black Mallet area. According to the source, her sister was outside when the gunshots rang out. “She was outside and ran when she heard it. It was quite a few. She heard it was like a drive-by but don’t know if anyone got shot as yet,” the source said at the time.
There have been reports of gunshots being heard in the Marchand area since.
Of interest, two Marchand brothers have been charged for the homicide of Joseph Stanislaus Pistol, who was gunned down in his business place, Kross Roads Minimart, in Cedars, around 9 p.m. on March 13, 2019.
Donavan Ismael, 17, of Marchand, Castries was charged last week for Pistol’s killing and his brother, Rueben Ismael, 19, also of Marchand, was arrested and charged on April 27.
Both brothers have since been remanded after appearing in court.