BOSVG employee gunned down in Arnos Vale
On February 14, Valentineâs Day, while many Vincentians were looking forward to inaugural flights landing at the Argyle International Airport (AIA) and others getting ready for a day with loved ones, this country recorded its first murder for 2017.
At around 7 a.m. at Arnos Vale, residents were startled by gunshots that pierced the air and shattered the morning quiet.
Minutes later, Arnos Vale resident and Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) employee Randy Lawrence was found with gunshot wounds about his body. Reports are that Lawrence was shot by someone he knew. He later died at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH).
According to a voice note that began making the rounds after the murder, Lawrence was involved in an argument the night before while hanging out at Chill Spot, a popular bar and restaurant in the same area where he was killed.
Persons claim that Lawrence and the man he was arguing with were at odds because of the friendship both men shared with a female who also lived in the vicinity at Arnos Vale.
The situation was defused and Lawrence left the scene, accompanied by friends. Reports are that on the morning he was shot, he was returning to the area to collect his vehicle, when he was accosted by someone who appeared to be waiting for him.
It is allegedly that Lawrence and his assailant exchanged words, after which the 39-year-old banker and father of one was shot five times.
Following the murder, two more shots rang out in the area, this time at a rented house owned by Joseph Smith of Arnos Vale and occupied by two females.
Reports are that after the second set of gunshots, persons observed a man and a woman leaving the area on foot, heading to the Arnos Vale main road and then left, along the highway, in the direction of Options supermarket.
Less than one hour later, police detained marketer, public relations consultant and freelance journalist 44-year-old Junior Jarvis, a former employee of the SEARCHLIGHT Newspaper. A female who appeared to be in some distress was in his company at the time of his arrest.
Jarvis was up to press time not charged with Lawrenceâs murder, but on Thursday, appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias at the Serious Offences Court at Lower Kingstown Park, charged in relation to the disturbance at the rented house owned by Joseph Smith.
Jarvis, a Redemption Sharpes resident who has five children, was charged with entering the dwelling house of Joseph Smith of Arnos Vale, with an offensive weapon, to wit a gun; and also charged with committing an act which is more than merely preparatory with the intent to commit a murder. Jarvis is the holder of a licensed 9 mm firearm.
Represented by lawyer Israel Bruce, Jarvis was not required to plead to the indictable offence and prosecutor Elgin Richards said that Jarvis is expected to soon be charged with Lawrenceâs murder.
It is expected that an autopsy will soon be carried out on Lawrenceâs body.
Jarvis is no stranger to the law. On July 22, 2010, Jarvis was charged with assault, causing actual bodily harm. When he appeared before the Kingstown Magistrateâs Court, he pleaded guilty and was reprimanded and discharged by then senior magistrate Donald Browne.
On January 26, 1978, a man by the name of James Jarvis was hanged for a murder he had committed at Arnos Vale. James is Juniorâs father and when he was hanged, Junior was a young child.
When SEARCHLIGHT visited Lawrenceâs Arnos Vale home on Monday, his wife Racquel Lawrence refused to speak to the media, stating, through a friend, that she was not in the frame of mind to do so.