The Office of the Governor in Anguilla conveyed the sorrow that the entire nation is reeling from after the passing of 14-year-old boy in a shooting incident. The statement also mentions a series of shootings that have occurred in the last 24 hours which have left the nation worried.
The Office of the Governor has also stated that their thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the young boy. The statement issued goes as follows, “It is hard to imagine the pain they are going through at this time. We stand with them in their grief. As a community, we need to respond to this terrible event by doing everything possible to bring those responsible to justice and tackle the scourge of gun crime in our community. I am in close contact with the RAPF who are working hard to identify and arrest those responsible.”
Haydn Hughes, who is the Acting Premier of Anguilla also felt the need to address the nation following a spree of gun violence and shooting incidents. He made his opinion known in a statement issued on Wednesday which appealed to the nation on the whole.
On Thursday, at the James Ronald Webster Park, at around 12 pm, a male student of the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School (ALHCS) was injured in a shooting incident.
The Royal Anguilla Police Force stated that the student had been rushed to a hospital for treatment, following which, the James Ronald Webster Park had been closed to preserve the crime scene.
Then on Wednesday, 4th October, a second shooting incident occurred in which an Anguilla Air and Sea Ports Authority (AASPA) security worker sustained bullet wounds to his arm. This incident occurred roughly at 6 pm near the Blowing Point Ferry Terminal.
Apparently, AASPA security personnel initiated active shooter protocols and secured the port after their injured colleague made it back to the terminal building. The AASPA personnel then made sure the situation was contained till emergency response arrived.
The matter is currently under investigation and is being taken very seriously considering the nature of the crime.
Due to this incident, the authorities have ramped up security so as to ensure the safety of both staff and passengers. The following measures have been put in place:
- Installation of four additional streetlights to improve the general lighting around the port.
- Police presence during the afternoon until the closure of the port.
- Counselling for staff infected by the incident.
- Armed and K9 Security until the end of 2023 in the first instance.
- Installation of further additional solar-powered flood lights around the terminal building.
To compound matters, a third shooting took place in South Hill at 2:30 pm on Wednesday. Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident after a firearm was unlawfully discharged. The Royal Anguilla Police Force has urged citizens with any relevant information on these incidents to approach them.
This is to promote cooperation between the authorities and citizens, but also aims to gather information on these crimes beyond the scope of an investigation alone.