Saint Lucia
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Gun Violence Claims Three More Lives in Dennery on Sunday


While always keen on putting out an extravagant carnival display over the years, the easterly coast community of Dennery also has had its share of disarray and dismay during celebration of the activities.

Dating as far back as the late1980s, the eastern village was shattered with the reckless accidental killing of two female teenage students during a J’Ouvert Jump Up on the highway outside the community. At the time, reports indicated that the driver of a flat bed truck who was most likely intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, drove into the crowd of revelers  killing the two young females instantly.

The suspect was later charged and prosecuted for the offense, but the scars left to bear for the family, relatives, student colleagues and the community in general was mind-shattering.

Through the years, and into the 90s and the 2000s, Dennery Carnival has taken on a life of its own with revelers from across the island, eagerly anticipating this East Coast Jam Session.

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However, the tragedy that befell the community Sunday evening, amid its carnival after party, marred the hearty flow of fun and joy the festivities brought to so many people.

Three young persons, two teenage girls and a 22-year-old male, suffered the fate of gun violence not long after the carnival revelry ended.

Quemese Annibaffa, 17, of Dennery was one of the victims of this ceaseless gun violence that has been plaguing the country and causing untold distresses and heartache to families from different communities.

Speaking to reporters, Annibaffa’s great aunt recalled that the teenager came home, changed, and then went out again to join in the activities.

A drive-by shooting along Victoria Road, Dennery, on Sunday evening claimed the lives of Quemese along with two of her friends. Her grandmother explained that the young lady had recently returned from England with her mother.

“They need to stop the gun violence, they need to stop it …if you have problems with somebody that’s not the way you solve it,” lamented the girls’ relative. “They need to start talking to people, they need to do something different. If you come out to have fun, why would you be out there with a gun looking for somebody you had issues with, and you killed Quemese …Quemese was not a part of it.”

Twinkle Dolor, 18 from the Dennery Valley was the other teenager killed in the drive-by shooting incident.

Another victim was Penlly “Srimpy” Fones of La Ressource, Vieux Fort, a young photographer and owner of Srimpy’s Photos who came to cover the carnival. His father recalls that he was faced with the grim task of having to come and identify his son.

Relating to the fateful event that disrupted the easterly village, over the weekend, Superintendent of Police with responsibility for the Northern Policing Region, Stephen Victorin told reporters the carnival revelry had ended, when the deadly shooting occurred.

“The police were responsible for ensuring the safety of the carnival activity in Dennery … and that went without incident,” he said. “The music was turned off promptly at 6.00 p.m. as per permission granted for that activity. The police exercised caution and ensured that they were on the ground and to ensure that the crowd dispersed properly.”

He recalled that about 8.00 p.m., police received a call about the shooting along Victoria Street, and upon arrival at the scene they found the bodies of three individuals.