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(SNO) — Hardy John, the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) security guard who was fatally shot while on the job in Marchand, Castries on Thursday (Sept. 20), was never a member of any gang, and he had a good relationship with everyone, including gangsters opposed to elements from his community.
That’s according to his longtime friend Godwin Richardson.
“That man was not a violent man, that man has never been in no gang,” Richardson told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an invited interview, several hours after John’s body was discovered at the ‘Marchand market’, reportedly with a bullet wound to the head.
Richardson said he grew up with John. They attended primary and secondary schools together, and as adults, lived in close proximity to each other, Richardson on Grass Street and John on Sydney Lane, Marchand.
Though John was not known to be involved in gang activity, the fact that he lived in a relatively violent inner-city community could’ve made him a target, according to Richardson.
“Right now you know how the streets operate already,” said Richardson, “The streets always based on a they say, a he say, a that man say. From people say things about you, the youths have no self-esteem, the youths have no love whatsoever, so they go on they say. So somebody spreading rumours on you, the youths come out for you, that’s basically it.”
Richardson said not being involved in a gang but getting along with gangsters, even warring factions, could set you up to being a target as well.
Asked if its possible that John was the victim of a gang-initiating ritual in which a person has to kill someone to become a member of a gang or rise in the ranks of a gang, Richardson said. “I don’t think so. The most I think is when you’re affiliated with different gangs, like two gangs at war and you’re like the middle man, you’re alright with guys on both sides, some of them just misinterpret it. Some take you as an informer, some take you as a snitch, but I no I don’t think so.”
John, who was aged 39, was a devout member of the Rastafarian faith, according to Richardson who is also a Rastafarian.
Richardson described his late friend as a “humble servant” and “conscious youth” who believed strongly in Rastafari.
“[He was a] quiet youth, full of love, he worked hard to maintain his children…. Very humble, very loving.”
Richardson also recalled that John was a “great footballer” who played as a defender for Big Players, a Marchand football team, which won matches against Police Academy, back in the days.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding the homicide to contact the nearest police station or call the Major Crime Unit at 456-3754.
According to a police press release, officers responded to a shooting in Marchand, Castries on Thursday, September 20, 2018, at about 5:20 a.m. They said on arrival, John’s body was discovered at the Marchand Boulevard allegedly with one gunshot wound to the head.
He was pronounced dead on the scene by a medical practitioner.
A source told our newsroom that John was apparently asleep or resting when he was shot.
“… people said they heard one shot around 4 (a.m.). He was the security at the market. Seems he was asleep because he was covered with a bed sheet,” the source said.