A brazen display of gunfire shattered the early morning quiet in the Christ Church community of Wotton, leaving a 16-year-old boy in intensive care and sending residents cowering.
It was around 1:45 thursday morning that residents of Wotton Terrace were awakened to the frightening sounds of gunfire reminiscent of a war zone.
By the time the shooting stopped, the gunmen had injured five people, damaged five houses, shattered the window of a private car and damaged a taxi.
Around 100 police officers rushed to the scene, however they made little progress with their investigations.
One resident told Barbados TODAY when she heard the gun shots all she could do was get down on the floor with her husband. Her 11-year-old daughter was so shaken by the ordeal that she kept screaming, “mummy, mummy, mummy” during the shootout.
The woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, showed Barbados TODAY a line of bullet holes along her back wall, bedrooms and partition of the home, that stood as permanent souvenirs of a morning of terror.
She also pointed out the hole left behind by the bullet that pierced the passenger screen of a neighbour’s car.
“It’s a very sad situation and it’s getting worse,” she said, adding that Wotton continued to be affected by gun violence from persons entering the community and targeting male residents.
She said outbreaks of gun violence were nothing new to Wotton, with these incidents taking place every one to two weeks. However, this time there was a lot more collateral damage, she said.
Another resident who also did not wish to be identified, vented his anger about what he said was the seventh such incident this year.
Like the woman before him, the man blamed the “unruly” behaviour on outsiders.
Gail-Ann Taylor’s 16-year-old nephew was among the victims of this morning’s gunplay.
It was not immediately clear where the boy was when he was shot, but he sustained two gunshot wounds to the head.
“All we [the family] could do now is pray and hope that he pulls through ok. That’s all I could do right now,” Taylor told Barbados TODAY, adding that she did not like to venture into certain parts of Wotton and never expected anything of the sort to happen to her nephew.
The Royal Barbados Police Force issued a statement this afternoon stating that it was investigating the “melee”.
“Police are conducting investigations into a shooting incident which occurred around 1:45 am on Thursday the 1st of September 2016 at Wotton Christ Church, where several persons were injured, and a number of vehicles and homes in the vicinity damaged.
“The most serious of the persons injured is a 16 year old male who received a gunshot injury to his head. He was transported to the QEH [Queen Elizabeth Hospital] by ambulance where he is receiving medical attention. Also injured was a 35-year-old male who received a gunshot injury to neck, a 21-year-old male who received a gunshot injury to his right ankle, a 19 year old male who received a gunshot injury to his right hand, and a 23-year-old female who received bruises about her body as a result of the melee,” the statement said.
“Police are appealing to anyone who may have information that can assist with this investigations to call 4182609, or Crime Stoppers at 1800 –TIPS (8477). All information received will be strictly confidential,” it assured.