Three people were charged with murder of the 20-year-old Xavier Thomas who was killed last Friday night in what has been described as a drive-by shooting. According to Police Commissioner Wendel Robinson, Shalom Bailey, Dorian Marshall and Jason Millette have all been charged with murder and shooting with intent to murder.
The incident which occurred in Cedar Grove has shocked the community and the country. According to a police press statement issued on Saturday, Thomas along with 49-year-old Lorne “TI” Nicholas, and Sean Matthew 32, all of Cedar Grove, were sitting on a corner in the village on August 18 when a vehicle pulled alongside them and an occupant opened fire.
The police said Thomas was shot in her abdomen and left leg, while Nicholas was shot in his right thigh and hip. Matthew received gun-shot wounds to his left leg and right thigh. They were transported to the hospital where Thomas was pronounced dead around 11:15 pm that night.
In a weekend interview, the Police Commissioner promised that the matter would be pursued vigorously and had expressed confidence that the crime would be solved.
Many residents of the Cedar Grove were demanding more action from the police to curb and solve crimes as they mourned the death of Thomas. While there has been no mention of a possible motive, many are speculating that the incident appears to be linked to another gun crime committed earlier this year and may be a form of retaliation.
The incident has also sparked a reaction from the National Coalition of Neighbourhood Watches which called for the Police Commissioner Robinson to disclose specific measures that are being adopted to address crime and security. The top cop declined to provide any details citing the need to keep police anti-crime operations secret, so as to maintain an advantage in the fight against crime.
Meanwhile, the Minister of National Security, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin said a press conference will be held today at 11:30 am, while a town hall style meeting will be held with residents at the Multipurpose Culture Centre some time later this week.