Enraged residents of Chapman Lane, the City are up in arms over the actions of lawmen whom they said sprayed bullets through the neighbourhood while in pursuit of a suspect this afternoon.
2007 Junior Calypso Monarch Rico Coco Gaskin was shot in his shoulder during the chase that happened around 4:30 p.m., but residents said the number of injured could have been worse.
According to bystanders, several children were riding bicycles and playing in the area when police fired several shots.
They eventually apprehended the man after he ran into a nearby house and was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.
A group of hostile residents quickly gathered and hurled expletives at police officers whom they accused of “doing foolishness” and endangering the lives of their children by their “reckless behaviour”.
Police public relations officer Acting Assistant Superintendent David Welch confirmed that one man was shot but said he could not give further details or respond to residents’ claims as lawmen were still on the scene carrying out their investigations.
One woman, who opted not to give her name, told Barbados TODAY that many of those present when the incident occurred had just returned home from the funeral of Albert Boyce, who was gunned down on his way home from the Hennessy Artistry show on December 7, 2014.
Boyce had lived a stone’s throw away in Reed Street.
According to her, Gaskin, who does not live in the area but is known to frequent the neighbourhood, was in a car when the chase began.
“He ran from that hired car, and run through the gap here by the pavilion. Two Task Force men chase he and shoot bare shots at he . . . . Little children were all around here playing and sitting down by the pavilion and dem still run through here shooting at Rico. My little four-year old niece had to run for her life,” the resident said.
A visibly upset Merisa Haynes could not hold back tears. Haynes, who shares the house with her boyfriend and two children but was not at home at the time of the shooting, was almost inconsolable after being shown a section of her wooden house which had been struck by a bullet.
“I just come home from work and my daughter told me ‘Mummy, I had to run from the window because the police was shooting and I had to run and lay down on the floor’,” she recalled.
“My house is damaged. I want something done with my house. And I do not feel it is right because they could have shoot through there and hit one of my children,” Haynes cried.
“Yes, the police have their work to do like anybody else, but to shoot when dem got children in the district, I do not agree with it!”
Another shaken resident said she thought she was going to die after hearing the loud gunfire.
“Dem was shooting wid dem big guns although dem see the children and the people out here. Anybody could have gotten shoot. I had to run for my life, cause to tell the truth I thought I was going to die,” she said.