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(SNO) – Officers from the Gros Islet Police Station are probing the death of prominent taxi driver and tour operator Nereus Francis, better known as “Cosol”, the founder of Cosol St. Lucia Tours.
Details surrounding his death are sketchy, but one thing that’s certain at this time, is that his death was “tragic and foul play” is suspected, according to a law enforcement source.
Information reaching our newsroom is that Francis was shot and that his vehicle subsequently ran off the road, into a ditch.
The incident is reported to have occurred in Mongiraud.
The Gros Islet Police responded to a report of a shooting/accident at 10:30 p.m. and the Gros Islet ambulance service responded shortly after being alerted.
Another unconfirmed report is that after he was shot, Francis’s vehicle veered off the road, and as he was trying to get out of the vehicle, it appeared to have fell on him. It is also theorised that the vehicle may have overturned, ejecting him in the process.
“Half of the vehicle was found on top his body. Uncertain where he sustained gunshot wound,” the source said.
“The motive for the shooting is not yet ascertained but robbery is being looked at,” another source said.
Francis, who turned 51 earlier this year, is originally from Babonneau. A resident from the community told our newsroom that Francis had built a very large house in a Gros Islet community.
According to his business website, “Nereus is a high energy, friendly, courteous and a dedicated individual. Nereus wants to see that every visitor has the time of their life on his excursions. He started Cosol St. Lucia Tours in 2002 with the aim of providing visitors to the island, a chance to satisfyingly experience the best attractions in St. Lucia during their brief stay.
“The nick name “Cosol” comes from the patois name for the sop. It’s a tropical fruit normally shaped like a heart with rough green skin and soft spikes. The white fleshy inside is very sweet and juicy when ripe. The sop can be eaten or used to produce a creamy juice that looks like milk.”
Our newsroom will provide more information as it becomes available.