It could have been suicide by explosive means.
However, the combined intervention of police units on patrol, members of the Special Services Unit and some residents of the Allen’s Land, Clevedale, Black Rock community, may have thwarted a potential suicide this afternoon, where a man in his 30s tried to blow up himself inside the home he shared with his 73-year-old grandmother.
The handyman, with no known mental history, reportedly forced his grandmother out of the wooden house, before barricading himself,, turning on the natural gas and lighting a candle, apparently hoping the cylinder would explode and take him with it.
Although his family, friends and police declined to release the suspect’s name, his long-time neighbour and close family friend, Terri Barrow, told Barbados TODAY, he handed her a suicide note through the door of his home.
She quoted to this newspaper, what the note said: “I don’t want to live no more and the people that you live with, make it more hard; and I will give them what they want; my life. Goodbye.”
Barrow said she knew the man for 30 years.
“We ran ‘bout together, went to the same church together. As far as I know, he doesn’t have a mental history. He just tripped,” she suggested.
She also described how the dramatic scenario unfolded.
“Well today, this started with my neighbour of whom I know for 30 years. (He) came to me with a domestic issue. I tried to intervene, yuh know, to find out what was going on. After I found out what the real issue was, I tried to couch him and tell him, we could get through this and whatever the case is,” she related.
“After I saw that there was nothing that I could do, I called Black Rock Police Station five times, and I stressed that five times, to let them know exactly what was going on, and the response was that there was only one patrol car. I called back a sixth time, and let them know it was a case of emergency, and the sergeant said to me ‘well, yuh know, we gine send somebody’. They came on the scene and it took another hour before back up could have come,” the witness recounted.
“It is kind of sad,” she declared, “that that’s where we’ve come as a society that we have to wait this long for help; but thankful to Welch (Inspector David Welch) and other members, the Fire Service and the community at large, we were able to get the individual under control and he is seeking the correct medical attention at this time.”
The man’s mother, who preferred not to be identified, said it was sad the situation with her son had come to this.
“It hurts to see what happened. But all I can say at the moment, the police is dealing with the situation, I am going try as his mother to do what I have to do for him,” she stated, as she sought to fight back the tears.
She said her neighbour had alerted her to the matter,”but as a mother, it break my heart. That’s all I can tell you.” Asked if she had any idea why her son would resort to trying to kill himself, the seemingly bewildered woman responded: “No sir. To tell the truth, I could tell you a million and one things, but what?! I, I, I doan know. I can’t pinpoint nothing at the moment, but with the assistance of the police, will have to try to deal with the situation.”
Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector David Welch reported that counselling was being provided to the family. Welch explained that the police received a report at about 1.30 p.m and after assessing the situation on arrival at the scene, called in additional forces to help.
He said the man refused to cooperate causing them to storm the house, based on a note the suspect had put through the door. He reported that he was eventually taken into custody. Welch said some damage resulted to the doors of the house as a result of the police forcing their way inside.(EJ)