(SNO) — The United States-based sister of a bus driver, who was shot during a robbery near his home in New village, Castries on Wednesday evening, has offered a reward of EC$5,000 to assisting in nabbing the culprits.
Lucy Matyr, a registered nurse living in Pennsylvania, told St. Lucia News Online on Thursday that her brother, 53-year-old Ignatius Jn Baptiste, who sustained three gunshot wounds to his left leg, was discharged from the hospital.
Reports are that, around 7 p.m., Jn Baptiste had just parked his bus and was walking home when he was accosted by three masked individuals, who proceeded to shoot and rob him.
Matyr said, according to information received, her bother “was coming from work and three guys — no questions asked — immediately starting shooting at him”.
She continued. “One bullet got the left leg. He fell to the ground. One of the shooters put his foot on his (Jn Baptiste’s) neck, the other continued to fire at him, took his money, 900 bucks, and they left him to die.
“He dragged himself up to the top of the stairs — in an alley way — screaming for help. That’s when neighbors came and took him to the hospital . He is home. Victoria hospital has no beds. That is scary. He got three bullets in the leg; they got them (bullets) out.”
The sister said she was told that her mother and her niece (Jn Baptiste’s daughter) heard the gunshots, not knowing it was their loved one.
“My niece… was the one who found him,” Matyr added. “What I heard is that the community heard the gunshots, everybody was running in and out of the house, afraid, around 7 p.m., then someone went to check on Ignatius because they know he’s a bus driver and his routine; then my niece went down to check on him. She found him on the steps, dragging himself to come home.They took him to the hospital.”
Matyr, who left Saint Lucia 25 years ago and last visited her homeland last year, said she has always encouraged people to visit the island, but her brother’s shooting, along with the crime rate, is “annoying” and damaging to the country’s image.
She is calling for tougher punishment for people who are “tainting Saint Lucia’s good name”.
“Tourism is part of their business and incidents like these are viewed as negative and vindictive. I want them to know how it feels to have someone put a foot on their throat and to be shot three times, like a drug raid,” she concluded.