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Dec 5, 2018

Shot to the Groin; Domestic Violence Victim Turns Gun on Common-law Husband

Tanice Mejia & Bartholomew Lucas

A victim of domestic violence took matters in her hand this morning; she shot her common-law-husband at her house on Vernon Street.  After the shooting, she fled in a van, but tonight she is in police custody.  Neighbours say that numerous reports had been made in the past that Tanice Mejia, had been repeatedly beaten by Bartholomew Lucas who lives across town on Majestic Alley. The firearm used in the shooting has not been located.  The shooting comes during the celebration of Sixteen Days of Activism, which highlights the growing concern that domestic abuse continues to affect families everywhere.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

There was a shooting around nine-thirty this morning inside the lower flat of a concrete two-storey house at the corner of Vernon Street and Magazine Road. Thirty-two-year-old Bartholomew Lucas was shot to the groin by his common-law-wife, who reportedly took an unlicensed gun and fired three shots. Police say the gun violence was the result of an argument between the couple as Mejia’s thirteen-year-old daughter was at high school. Neighbours say that the woman, thirty-three-year-old Tanice Mejia, is a victim of domestic violence; which has been extensively reported to the police department.

 

Voice of: Neighbour

“I know for a fact that he used to be hitting on her, beat her all the time. Lotta time, I was the one who had to call the police so they could come and take him from her house. Every time he di beat pon she, every time, every time, every time, I have to be the one call the police so they can come and take he outta the house.”

 

Duane Moody

“You say day and night this has always happened?”

 

Voice of: Neighbour

“Yes sometimes dah day and sometimes dah night. Sometime ih beat ahn fi hours. Tanice end up shot the guy—whatever the guy was her boyfriend or used to be boyfriend—she shot he and she just left the scene.”

 

Following the shooting, Mejia reportedly ran from the scene and hopped into a dollar-van and escaped. An injured Lucas made his way onto Vernon Street where he was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by a police patrol. Investigators arrived shortly after to process the scene where they discovered three expended nine-millimetre shells. The firearm, however, has not been found, despite a search of the house, which was carried out in the presence of a Justice of the Peace. Officers also searched an overgrown lot to the rear of the building, but came up empty-handed.

 

Voice of: Neighbour

“She lived there; he lives through Majestic Alley as far as I know.”

 

Duane Moody

“So what you understand happened this morning?”

 

Voice of: Neighbour

“I noh too long come out yah. And I come because I know she dah mi neighbour and I know I used to be the one weh try rescue ahn. So I come and see police and I mi think dah Tanice get hurt. Then when I come pon the scene, dehn tell me that I can’t enter and dah then I know something really bad gone on.”

 

Bartholomew Lucas

Ironically, this case of domestic violence occurred as the international sixteen days of activism campaign, under the theme; Hear Me Too – End gender-based violence against women and girls, is nearing completion.   This morning’s incident sends a clear picture that gender-based violence, against women and children, continues to be a very real cause for the health of the country. There are increasing cases of domestic violence that affect both adults and children. Kim Simplis Barrow says 2019 will see an increase in advocacy.

 

Kim Simplis Barrow

Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children

“It has got to stop. It is really outrageous that we are, despite all our efforts, we are still battling gender-based violence. We have got to focus on gender based violence and it is for the health of our entire country. For the health of the children, for family and friends; everyone gets affected by gender-based violence. It is not just the two persons that are involved. If kids are involved, they are affected and they grow up into that same cycle. So we have to stop it and it has to start in the homes. It has to start with us implementing really strict laws and legislations to enforce penalties.”

 

But until that time, the reality for the victims is when is enough, enough. And what happens when it gets to that point?

 

Tanice Mejia

Voice of: Neighbour

“She been fed up; she been fed up. She been tell me ih tired of ahn. But she fraid for him cause he dah the kind weh always come round di beat ahn and she fraid fi ih life. Like I mi tell ahn, you gotta be careful because one day yow ah get hurt. One day yo wah end up cripple; one day yo might dead.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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