Police at the scene at Bonefish Pond on Sunday evening. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff
By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO men are dead, including a father of one, following two separate shooting incidents over the Easter holidays.
The killings took place roughly six hours apart and brought the country’s homicide count to 20 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.
In the latest matter, according to reports, shortly after midnight yesterday police responded to reports of a male being shot in the area of Forster Street, Chippingham.
Officers at the scene discovered a man with a gunshot wound. Paramedics were called and attempted to revive the victim, but were unsuccessful.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
While police have not yet identified the victim, The Tribune understands that he was Byran Smith, 34, a resident of the area.
When this newspaper went to the scene around noon yesterday, neighbours referred to the victim as a quiet and reserved father of one, who was reportedly shot after responding to “something he heard” outside of his apartment.
Asking not to be identified, one neighbour said he understood that Smith, at some point before being shot, heard someone attempting to break into his vehicle and stepped out of his home to intervene.
Police yesterday declined comment when asked about these claims.
Attempts by The Tribune to speak to relatives of the deceased were also unsuccessful up to press time, with one relative only confirming the victim’s identity.
In the first incident, police said they responded to the discovery of a body in the area of the Bone Fish Pond, just off Cowpen Road, around 6pm on Sunday.
Paramedics were called to the scene, where they examined the body and pronounced the victim dead.
In a briefing at the scene, Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash described the deceased as a dark skinned male, in his early or mid twenties.
He said police were working to determine why the victim was in the area and what may have transpired in the moments leading up to his death.
CSP Cash in his preliminary observation of the scene on Sunday described it as “extensive,” telling reporters that physical evidence collected from the location suggested the victim was shot a short distance from where his body was discovered.
When asked if the victim was known to police, CSP Cash said it was to early into his unit’s investigation to say, adding that once the victim is properly identified, he will update the press.
The two killings are the first homicides to be recorded in the month of April, breaking a nearly four week lull.
Last April, five murders were recorded across the country.
When asked about this decrease directly, CSP Cash credited the commissioner’s 2019 policing plan which he said has been “active” in recent policing strategies.
“Again, as we know, we always go after our prolific offenders and our persons of interest who we suspect are involved in these types of matters,” he added.
Investigations into these incidents and several others that occurred over the holiday weekend are ongoing.
Anyone with information on any of these homicides is asked to contact police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS.