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Sep 12, 2017

Murder Accused Targeted Among 6 Shot in Cinderella Plaza

Police presence was heavy at major events over the weekend, but that did not avert any violence. Not for Akeem Augustine who was set free of a murder charge on Friday. By Saturday morning, following the popular J’ouvert, Augustine was targeted. He was among the revelers in the area of Cinderella Plaza when a gunman opened fire.   Augustine was lucky enough and only sustained an injury to a toe; five others were injured in an execution attempt. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Akeem Augustine

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Less than twenty-four hours after being acquitted of murder, Akeem Augustine, believed to have been the triggerman in the shooting death of Ardon Belgrave, was himself marked for death.  The attempt on his life sometime after six o’clock on Saturday morning, left several others, who were also returning from the Carnival J’Ouvert, injured during a spray of bullets in the vicinity of Cinderella Plaza.

 

Hilberto Romero

Supt. Hilberto Romero, Head CIB, Eastern Division

“Police from Precinct Three responded to a shooting incident near Kelly Street, by the Cinderella Plaza area.  Upon arrival they were informed that some persons had been shot and they had been taken to the K.H.M.H.  CIB personnel visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they found six persons with varying degrees of gunshot injuries.  All persons were treated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and so far all six have been released.”

 

As many as four of those victims are minors no older than seventeen years of age, including a fifteen-year-old girl who was shot in the abdomen and wrist.

 

Hilberto Romero

“The scene was processed and we found five, nine millimeter expended shells at the area and an investigation is ongoing at this time to try and find two suspects who came up to the area on bicycles.  One of them pulled out a pistol, fired five shots and then rode off on the said bicycle.”

 

The gunman’s quarry, police believe, was Akeem Augustine.  He was shot in the left toe, while another man, twenty-year-old Keith Wallace, was injured in the left foot.  The sudden burst of gun violence ended an otherwise peaceful pre-carnival event, but was the armed attack on the revelers related to Augustine’s alleged involvement in the 2013 murder of Ardon Belgrave?

 

Hilberto Romero

“Well that is something we are looking at, and [we are] looking at the rivalries he has in the streets and certainly we are following up every lead.  But we know, as far as the investigation, that he was the intended target.”

 

That incident would later precipitate a flurry of unconfirmed reports of fatal shootings across the city on September ninth, none of those accounts being accurate.  Eastern Division South Commander Marco Vidal:

 

Marco Vidal

Supt. Marco Vidal, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“I know that there’s a lot of fake news being [put] out there, especially via the social media, trying to create an alarm that does not exist.  As you know, there was some report about two persons being shot in the Conch Shell Bay area and one was left paralyzed, which is entirely untrue.  It is the furthest thing from the truth.”

 

What is true, however, is that brothers Shaquille and Ellis Meighan were both being detained in connection with the post J’Ouvert attack.  Police initially reported that ten individuals had been brought in, including the siblings, for questioning in connection with that incident.  Superintendent Hilberto Romero, at the time of the press brief this morning, could not determine the length of time Shaquile Meighan was in police custody.

 

Hilberto Romero

“We detained two persons.  They have been released, but we are looking for two more suspects at this time and we are doing all our efforts to try and find them so that we can put a closure to this case. I can say that he was in custody, he was interviewed and as a result of that interview he was then released.  There was not evidence to charge him so he was released from custody.”

 

No one has been arrested or charged in respect of the shooting. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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