Fear was evident on the faces of the residents of Crab Hill St Lucy following the gruesome murder of Dexter Lashley, who are bracing for violent reprisals.
Lashley, who was previously wanted by police on a number of criminal matters, was found dead in a gutter.
Fearful for their lives, villagers requested anonymity as they blatantly told Barbados TODAY that they had families to protect from the recent gunplay, which affected their relatively quiet neighborhood.
Others predicted that some men in the windswept northern community may know Lashley’s killer and may be planning their own vigilante justice against the assailant as a crime feud appears set to open a new, violent chapter.
One man who said that he had grown up with Lashley, quietly mourned the violent death of his friend.
“All these fellas I grew up with. It would come like normal in terms of you grew up with these fellas from young and everyone is branch out into their little groups and these things would happen and got you offset to know you grew up with them and them turn up [dead] and you can’t blame somebody,” he said adding that to see his friend lying in a pool of blood on the ground was a painful and heartwrenching memory.
“Me and him did close to see him lying on the ground,” he said while trying to maintain his composure.
“I am accustomed to watching movies and seeing these things happen.
“I had seen him when I was going work and I would tell him to go off the streets and head home you don’t want to get caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said, adding that Lashley was wanted in connection with a matter in Speightstown.
“Yeah that was in connection with something that happened in Speightstown. You know things does happen,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The unidentified man said that he was born and raised in St Lucy and that he was very close to Lashley’s family as he worked alongside Lashley’s mother.
“I lived up here from the time I born. His mother and I worked together for years. It is sad but it is nothing I can do. I am not surprised that they had the retaliation,” he said.
Another resident said that she was told of the shooting by her children who were home at the time.
“We don’t know who [killed him]. I was scared [when] my children called me at work and said there was a shooting,” she told Barbados TODAY.
Another villager said that the ongoing violence would put Crab Hill back on the map of Barbados but for all the wrong reasons.
“I was made to understand it was a retaliation thing. [It is] annoying. It would put Crab Hill back on the map for the wrong thing,” he said, adding that he believes that it was not the end of the recent surge of violence, although police presence had intensified.
“Knowing the area and knowing how things are something liable to happen, I hope nothing else happens. Police were up and down [the community] even foot patrols were in the area. I don’t know how long they can keep it up but I hope they keep it for a long time,” he said.
Another resident of Crab Hill, home to the island’s northernmost police station, echoed the sentiments shared by the unnamed resident stating that the person who shot Lashley may be the next person on the death list from the small close-knit community.
“It ain’t gine quiet down so easy I telling you . . . . You lucky the man that do the job can’t be found. If the people don’t find he [within] a certain time he [is a], dead man,” he said.
The man suggested Lashley’s killer ought to “get a lawyer and call he mother . . . . If he doesn’t do that he ain’t going to last long,” said the villager. “I would hope the police find him. He could better give up himself ‘cause he [is] going to be dead.”
The unnamed Crab Hill resident said that a heavy police presence was of the reasons why the block was empty when Barbados TODAY visited just after 1 p.m. this afternoon.
“Them men got a reason why they ain’t on the block. By next week they going to find he themself. Just now the police going to find them [they are] trying to keep a low profile nobody ain’t talking,” he said, adding that the dead man was on bail and had turned himself in prior to his untimely death.
“[Lashley was on] bail and he turn in himself. The men are keeping a low profile – them know who [the killer] is. I guarantee [that in] the next three days the police going to find him dead,” he said, stressing that if the police did not find the man who shot and killed Dexter Lashley soon they could be searching for another body.
“If the police don’t find the man that do the shooting [they’re] going to find him dead.
If the police don’t find he, them going to tek out he,” he said.