Residents in Faux-A-Chaud, Castries are blaming this morning’s homicide on gang warfare.
The latest victim is 30-year-old security guard, Vinton Stephen Clement, also known as Tanny. Residents claimed he was an innocent bystander.
Clement was shot when two masked men invaded an area called “The Slab”, firing shots randomly around 12:57 a.m.
Clement, who was among a group of people socialising outside their homes, was hit. He was pronounced dead at hospital.
Bullet holes in zinc fences and several spent shells at different sections of the neighbourhood confirmed reports by residents that the gunmen had no specific target.
Girlfriend of the deceased, Mandy Felix, 25, told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that she was sleeping when she suddenly felt like the “whole house was shaking”. She awoke to the sound of multiple gunshots in the neighbourhood.
When the shooting stopped, Felix said she ran outside her home and was told that her boyfriend was shot. She then saw Clement laying on the ground, bleeding.
“I started running up and down, and throwing myself down… I couldn’t believe they shoot my boyfriend,” Felix said.
Felix, as well as other neighbours, told SNO that Clement was not a troublemaker.
“He’s a party person,” one of the neighbours said.
“When it comes to the rum business… yes, he drinks his rum and go sleep,” another neighbour chipped in.
The residents claimed that Clement could have been saved if the ambulance had arrived sooner. One of the residents alleged that they were told that no ambulance was available at the time they called.
As a result, several men lifted Clement and attempted to bring him to Victoria Hospital, which was only a few metres away. However, they claimed that heavily-armed police officers stopped them from doing so. The residents alleged that the police assaulted one of the men who was trying to bring the wounded man to the hospital.
Felix also believed her boyfriend could have been saved. She said he was still breathing and was crying when they brought him to the main road.
She said the ambulance eventually arrived, but it was too late.
Residents blamed the violence on a gang feud between men from ‘The Slabs’ and ‘The Cemetery’ – neighbourhoods in the tough Faux-A-Chaud/Hospital Road area.
The residents also blamed the police for being biased in their investigations.
“When things happen, is here they come. They not going deh to ask questions. It’s here they coming. So much shooting and stabbing here and they come here,” a resident said.
Clement was shot metres from where 27-year-old Shervon Chris Alexis aka Chunky was killed on June 11 at about 11:30 p.m.
Shots were fired in his direction while he sat near the entrance of his house. One of the shots caught him in the chest area.
SNO understands that Alexis was granted bail from prison prior to the shooting.
He along with another man were charged with the attempted murder of Venus Raymond (age 26 at the time) of Trouya, Gros Islet. Raymond sustained gunshot wounds in Faux-A-Chaud on Dec. 14, 2012 at about 4:45 p.m.