Cease and desist immediately!
That was the impassioned appeal made today by the management of the MV Dream Chaser to perpetrators of violence in and around its vessel, following the shooting death of 26-year-old Donasan Husbands who was gunned down in the car park east of the Flour Mill, off Spring Garden Highway, St Michael in the wee hours of this morning.
Police say the victim and a male companion, who has since been identified as Adrian Sealy, had just disembarked the MV Dream Chaser after attending a cruise and were making their way towards their vehicle around 2:30 a.m. when a series of gunshots were fired at them.
As a result, Husbands, of Fairfield Road, Black Rock, St Michael, suffered multiple wounds about his body. He was transported by ambulance to the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.
The other victim, who was shot in his left thigh, was transported by private transportation to the QEH for medical treatment. No update has since been forthcoming on his condition.
However, with investigations said to be at a sensitive stage and lawmen appealing to anyone with information to contact them, Management of MV Dream Chaser today strongly condemned the incident while urging the unknown perpetrators to stop the violence.
“While deeply saddened with the loss of life the Management of the MV Dream Chaser will also wish to make an appeal to the perpetrators of violence on our vessel and the environs of our vessel to please cease and desist with immediate effect.
“Let persons who want to come out and enjoy themselves do this in a peaceful manner,” they said in a statement in which they also extended condolences to the family of the deceased man.
Last night’s deadly incident came on the heels of a brutal stabbing last month, which marred an afternoon cruise aboard the popular party boat and sent patrons into an immediate state of shock and panic.
The four-hour ISSA VYB cruise was coming to an end at around 4:50 p.m. on June 17 and the vessel was preparing to dock at Cavans Lane in Bridgetown when things turned ugly.
As an altercation among a group of men escalated, one patron reportedly broke a glass bottle and repeatedly struck another cruiser, leaving him battered and bloodied.
The incident was immediately condemned by the promoters who swiftly took to Instagram to apologize in a post which read: “We the host of ISSA VYB would like to apologize for the unforeseen event which took place causing the cruise to end abruptly. We also hope that no one was hurt in the midst of those uncalled for actions.”
At the time, captain and part-owner of the MV Dream Chaser John Moore had also told Barbados TODAY that management of the vessel was angry over the stabbing which had triggered public concerns about the overall safety of pleasure cruises.
Those concerns were reawakened today following Husbands’ murder with at least one poster on Barbados TODAY’s Facebook page, Angus Benn, suggesting that it was “time the police banned those night cruises.
“More people [are] going to die. Just couple weeks ago [someone went] missing from one of those cruises,” he added, while acknowledging that “the cruise is not at fault [but] most of these young men getting [a] beef with one another. So they wait for you and shoot you when you least expect”.
However, other posters were of the view that a ban would not solve the problem even as management of Dream Chaser today sought to assure that “we take our patrons safety to heart and we will be cooperating with the Royal Barbados Police Force to the fullest extent to ensure these tragic events of the last month do not reoccur.
“In times of tragedy is when we need unity and togetherness in fighting the trend of violence that is not only present in isolated pockets on our vessel but prevailing throughout Barbadian society as a whole.
“As a country we need to stand together in condemning this senseless act of violence and send a message that we, together believe in a peaceful and unified Barbados,” they said, while thanking members of the public in advance for “your support in ending the violence”.
The latest murder brings to 17, the number of homicides so far this year.
Just two days ago, 38-year-old Pauline Clarke was shot multiple times and killed as she was leaving the Pro-Fit Gym in Civilian Road, Bush Hall, St Michael.
At the time, she was accompanied by her 17-year-old daughter Keelia, who was reportedly grazed by at least one bullet during the unexpected attack.
Police say both matters remain under active investigation with a view to nabbing the perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
The family of the latest victim, meantime, was today in a total state of shock and declined to comment on his killing. Husbands’ neighbours in Black Rock were also tightlipped about the circumstances surrounding his death, only suggesting that there was more to the matter than what has been reported so far.