“Oh my Lord! …. Another one?” That was the desperate cry of one onlooker early Thursday after gunfire pierced the quiet of the morning and found another victim.
Commuters on a public service vehicle (PSV) in the heart of Eagle Hall, St Michael had front row seats to the latest attack. They and other witnesses in the area were sent scampering after the gun play unfolded.
Eyewitness reports said an unknown assailant shot a passenger travelling on a Speightstown van and quickly left the scene around 7:30 am.
Witnesses in the area also reported that immediately after the shooting, passengers of the packed van quickly bolted the vehicle in effort to escape the bloody scene which left the unknown victim clinging to life.
In an official police statement Communications and Public Affairs Officer Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss, stated: “Police received a report of a shooting where a man came up behind a minibus on its left side while it was stationary at the traffic lights and discharged a number of shots inside the said minibus.”
He reported that one male passenger received an injury to his back and was transported in a private motor car for medical treatment.
In an immediate response to the brazen shooting, Mark Haynes, the Communications and Information and Marketing Officer of the Alliance Owners of Public Transport (AOPT), strongly condemned the shooting, and said that for sometime, workers in the transport industry had expressed concerns on the state of gun crimes being seen around the country.
According to Haynes, the situation seems to be getting worse.
“Over the past months, the AOPT has been very concerned about the magnitude of crime which now permeates the island and of course we were concerned not only about the commuters but also the PSV workers and their safety.”
He added: “This is very troubling, and it turns off those commuters who mean well [and] who want to get on the vehicles, when they hear about this kind of criminal activity. It’s frightening because it continues to get worse because almost every other day now notwithstanding the gun laws that have been upgraded, you are still hearing about shootings.
“This is a societal problem, with which all Barbadians will have to deal. The PSV fraternity cannot escape this. This is the reality with which we have got to live, regrettably.”
Given the state of crime, Haynes said owners of PSVs are being strongly advised to install cameras in their vehicles in order to add another layer of security for workers and passengers.
“This is very concerning for us and the workers in the industry who are making an effort to make a daily living. What happens is that they are not safe in their own environment. It is incumbent on workers in the sector to try to secure themselves and for the commuters on board to also assist in the process.
“If you were to see any potential criminal threat, draw it to the attention of the Barbados Police Service,” he suggested.