Wednesday 20 March, 2019

Gun violence, drownings and accusations dominate festive season

Violence, death and accusations levied at Victoria Hospital over a recent video circulating on social media showing a patient waiting for care in the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital are dominating this festive season, as the New Year looms.

Just last night, in the community of Marchand, a lone gunman, said to be in his teens, opened fire at an intended target hitting two fifteen-year-olds (boy and girl) both of whom had to be rushed to a medical facility.

The girl was hit in the right breast and is said to be in a stable condition while the boy, who was hit in the left buttock, is also said to be in a stable condition.

The shooting also resulted in the death of an elderly man who goes by the alias ‘Patrick’, police have yet to release his full name.

It was reported that a bullet from the lone gunman penetrated the wooden structure Patrick was in and struck him, killing him instantly.

No one has been arrested thus far however Loop News understands that police have narrowed their search for the gunman.

Meanwhile, police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two individuals as a result of a vehicular accident which occurred on Wednesday (December 26, 2018) at about 7:45 p.m. along the Roseau /Anse La Raye Highway.

Twenty-one-year old Ruben Flavius and 20-year-old Keiran Sexius, both residents of Bois Den, Jacmel, were passengers on a motor scooter, travelling in a southerly direction, along the Roseau Highway when the scooter collided with an omnibus, which was travelling in a northerly direction

Both individuals were later pronounced dead at the Victoria Hospital by a medical practitioner. Post-mortem examinations are scheduled for subsequent dates. This incident brings the number of road fatalities recorded for the year to 25, according to police.

Earlier that same day, two drowning incidents rocked the country, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. At about 10:15 a.m. officers attached to the Police Marine Unit, Castries, responded to a report of a suspected drowning at Choc Beach, Castries.

Police reported that a female body had been identified off the coast of the Choc Beach, by a member of the public. The body was recovered and later identified as Keiron Benoit, a 52-year-old resident of Faux-a-Chaud, Castries. She was formally pronounced dead at the Victoria Hospital by a medical practitioner.

In the afternoon at about 3:30 p.m. officers attached to the Gros Islet Police Station, responded to a report of a suspected drowning at the Gros Islet Beach, near Chapel Street.

Christopher Benoit Bruno, a 62-year-old resident of the area reportedly went into the water and failed to resurface. His body was later recovered by members of the public who were in the vicinity. He was formally pronounced dead at the Victoria Hospital by a medical practitioner.

The third drowning occurred in the afternoon of Christmas Eve in the west coast village of Canaries at a place called Seaside.

Police reported that Robert Joseph, also known as “Jilien”, 52, of Extension Area, Canaries, reportedly went swimming near the jetty in the village when he encountered difficulties returning to shore. Members of the public assisted in bringing him ashore, where efforts were made to resuscitate him, but to no avail.

He was formally pronounced dead at the Victoria Hospital by a medical practitioner. Post-mortem examinations have been scheduled for a date yet to be announced.

The hospital’s Executive Director, Brenda Calixte is now pleading for persons to pick up their loved ones from the hospital after they have been discharged.

“We have noticed a trend at the hospital where during the festive season persons leave their loved ones at the hospital after they have been discharged. This really is not a good practice because they (the loved ones) occupy a much-needed bed,” Calixte said.

“So for this season,” she added, “we’re expecting people to desist from this practice and please pick up their loved ones once they are discharged.”

Calixte appeal comes amid a video circulating on social media that shows a patient, waiting for care at the Accident and Emergency Department of the hospital, sitting on the floor instead of being attended to.

The patient, Daniel Charles has since condemned the video. He said the accusations against the hospital are false. He has since appealed to the people making the accusations against the hospital to stop doing so.

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