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Bajan fugitive, 2 Vincy men, shot dead by police

Bajan fugitive, 2 Vincy men, shot dead by police

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If there were ever a time when the saying “Dead men tell no tales” rings true, this must be the time.

The many conflicting reports surrounding the shooting deaths of three men in the Top Village area of Vermont last Thursday, May 21st, leave more questions than answers.{{more}}

Dead is Asborn Devon Nickie, a 20-year-old resident of Vermont, his friend Brezen Frederick, 23, also of Vermont, and 29-year-old Dwayne O’Brian Herbert of Chalky Mount, St. Andrew, Barbados.

The men were shot and killed during an operation of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

According to a police press release, at about 6:30 p.m, after receiving certain information, police went to the Vermont area looking for Herbert.

The release said, upon approaching the area where the fugitive was believed to be, shots were fired at the police, who returned fire. As a result, the three men were killed.

The police release states that a 9mm pistol was found at the scene, while a search is continuing for “other weapons believed to have been used by the men during the attack on the police”.

According to the Nation newspaper, Herbert was wanted in Barbados for the December 24th, 2008, murder of Holbert Ricardo Davis, a barber of Vault Road, Welchman Hall, St. Thomas.

Just two years ago, Herbert was set free of an 18-year sentence for endangering the life of Pedro Caddle at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in a 2002 shooting incident, the Nation reports.

The drama that came to an end with gunfire late that evening began with the commencement of Operation Vincy Pac, the anti-crime exercise conducted by the Regional Security System here over the past two weeks.

The heavy police presence in the hills of St. Vincent is said by government officials to have forced persons frequenting those areas to seek “lower ground” in an effort to escape the long arm of the law.

Frederick’s family members say that he had been introduced to Herbert by a mutual friend, who had asked Frederick to offer refuge to the Barbadian until things “cooled off”.

Frederick’s grandmother Vida, speaking to SEARCHLIGHT, said that early that fateful day, the home where her grandson lived had been raided by police officers searching for the wanted man.

“Twenty-six ah dem come and when they don’t find him, they break up the bed and mash up the stove and buckets and throw way he food stuff and clothes all over the place.”

The elderly Frederick alleged that the police, apparently upset, vowed that they would return and would not leave empty handed the next time around.

Nickie’s grandmother, Monica Trotman, said that her grandson was neither aware that the police were looking for Herbert nor that he was wanted in Barbados.

She said that Nickie had just finished eating some food that she had prepared for him and was on his way to the river to bathe when he met Frederick and Herbert.

“He never know the guy (Herbert), they never meet. He and Brezen was friends from they small.”

“My grandson don’t involve in guns and no drugs. He would never shoot nobody.”

Villagers allege that as the police drove up to the men in a white rented Suzuki Escudo and alighted from the vehicle, Nickie threw up his hands in surrender while the other two ran.

Bullet holes and bloodstains in the pavement mark the spot where Nickie died, while in a small field on the side of the road, flowers and candles show where Frederick and Herbert fell.

The consensus of persons in the village days after the incident is that the wanted man and anyone harboring him should have been apprehended, but they protest the manner in which the men were killed.

“They coulda arrest them, dem never had no gun,” lamented one villager at the scene.

“I don’t mind they kill the Bajan, because he was wanted, but the youth man (Nickie) was innocent,” said another.

Family members of the two Vincentian men are calling for an investigation into the death of the men, and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in a press conference on Tuesday assured that a coroner’s inquest will be conducted.

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