Ashley James was battling for her life early yesterday, while the bullet that pierced her abdomen also put her unborn child at risk; this followed an attack by an unidentified assailant who shot and killed James’s partner, Adrian “Ugly” “Heads” Shand in the same incident.
One of James’s relatives who did not want to be named, told OBSERVER media that the young woman was in her second trimester of her pregnancy and during the incident she lost a lot of blood and had to undergo surgery.
However, the relative said it appears James will improve, but they are not so sure about the baby as yet.
The relative said although James is now awake and could talk a little, her condition remains serious, but stable.
“She was in pain, not saying much because she is in pain. They said the surgery was successful and they took out the bullet but she is still in recovery stage right now. She is in stable condition for now. She is not 100 percent talking because she is in a lot of pain,” the relative said.
At about 2:15 a.m. yesterday, according to the police, Shand and James were in bed in their Yorks home when gunmen broke their bedroom window and shot them while they slept.
Both victims were both rushed to the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre where Shand succumbed to his injuries, and James was taken to surgery for treatment for “multiple gunshot wounds.”
With Shand’s killing, the number of homicides so far for the year moves up to nine.
Yesterday the police issued an appeal “to anyone with information into this incident to report same to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at telephone number 462-3913/14 or the nearest Police Station.”
Shand, 28, was someone who was well known to the court system, having been arrested, charged and convicted numerous times since he was a teenager.
The police last night confirmed he was a Jamaican national and OBSERVER media is in possession of a Cabinet decision of October 4, 2017 which indicates that Shand had been declared an “undesirable resident or visitor” to Antigua and Barbuda. The order in the document, titled Immigration and Passport Order, 2017 however, could not be enforced since the immigrant had numerous serious matters pending in court.
The document reads, “NOW, therefore, the Cabinet having been reliably informed and advised that the persons listed in the Schedule are not citizens of Antigua and Barbuda and are undesirable residents of or visitors to Antigua and Barbuda DOTH HEREBY ORDER that the said persons listed in the Schedule are deemed undesirable residents of or visitors to Antigua and Barbuda.”
A wanted bulletin was issued for his arrest in January this year in connection with “serious criminal offences” and he later surrendered to the police.
At the time, he was on bail pending trial for his role in the August 2013 Last Lap shootout at the East Bus Stations (Shanty Town) which left three people injured, including Judith Winter, a pensioner who remains crippled and bedridden after a stray bullet severed her spine.
Two of Shand’s co-accused were convicted for that crime but he walked free because a key prosecution witness refused to testify after reporting that Shand threatened his life and he was fearful.
Lawmen said they did not know the motive for the attack on Shand and his family yesterday morning.