The space usually reserved for the laughter and frolic of young children in Gall Hill, Christ Church became a mourning ground for residents as the worrying spate of violent killings continued today.
Thirty-four-year old Edward Chase, alias Chucky fell victim to a brutal knife attack during an altercation with another young man, who is reportedly well known to members of the community.
Chase’s body lay lifeless just outside the community playground as loud sporadic wailing signaled that another community was in mourning.
Police spokesman, Michael Blackman confirmed that officers from the Oistins Police Station received reports of a stabbing just before midday and arrived to find Chase’s body lying in a pool of blood.
At the scene were his mother, Stacey Leacock and his older sister, Cheryl Leacock who was in no emotional condition to speak. However, Roslyn Wilkinson, a senior in the community said over the last 18 years, the deceased had become as close to her as a son. Sitting under a black flag meters away from the young man’s corpse, Wilkinson spoke with a heavy heart.
“The tears just would not come, I want them to come, but the tears just would not come. Knowing him for over 18 years, he would come to me as a mother and I looked to him as a son,” she said.
She told Barbados TODAY that in his younger days, Chase had developed some bad habits, which landed him in prison almost a decade ago but had since started to turn his life around. Wilkinson added that her ‘adopted son’ occupied his time with gardening and maintenance to make money.
“After I got into his life, he settled down and he worked. I sat on his step every afternoon and we would talk,” she said, adding that it had been eight years since he last got into trouble.
“I don’t know what happened today, but I was inside and I heard him quarrelling. I said to him, ‘Chucky why are you quarreling’ and he said that the young ladies over there said that he is smoking dope.
“Moments later a young lady came and said ‘Roslyn come quickly, because Chucky and this boy are fighting,” she revealed.
“I would have intervened because all of us are neighbors and it never would have happened. But I could not get there as fast as I wanted to and when I got there, it was already done. My daughter who is a student nurse tried to revive him, but he was already gone,” she said, while shaking her head in sorrow.
Wilkinson said she had posted bail for the young man in the past, but continuously warned him to stay clear of trouble.
“I begged him, ‘please, do not get yourself into trouble, because I am not coming back to sign bail for you. Next time, you will loss’ way in prison,’ and he promised me he would try his best not to get into trouble.”
Another observer who described himself as friend of the deceased told Barbados TODAY: “I was out there sitting down when a neighbor told me that my friend just died and when I came out here I saw blood just pouring out of him.”
He added that the incident would have a stifling effect on efforts by members of the community to help change the neighborhood for the better.
“Through the years, living in this community I’ve seen a lot of violence, but it was cooling down of late. This is the first major thing in three or four years. These kinds of things will only make Gall Hill ‘hot’ again. Honestly we’re tired of this kind of thing,” he added.
Two women at the scene expressed disgust at the scourge of violence taking over the country and pleaded with government to help fix the problem.
“We’re crying out saying we’re going to help the youth, but it seems nothing is being done. What are we going to do? Mia [Mottley] we don’t just want talk, we need some action.
“I wouldn’t say there’s much violence in this community. We have a lot of people on the blocks and stuff, but we try to live as one. Everybody knows each other; we try to speak to the young people as much as we can,” she said.
Barbados TODAY understands a young man is assisting police with their investigations and the lawmen are asking those with information about the matter to speak up.
Aside from his family on the island, Chase leaves to mourn an older brother who is currently serving as a soldier in the United States. [email protected]