NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 21, 2015) — The following is an address by Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory delivered on October 21, 2015, following the shooting death of Philo Wallace at a bar in Charlestown on October 17, 2015.
My fellow Citizens, Nevisians, Residents,
Over the weekend, we learned of the shooting death of a young man shot by a Police in a bar in Charlestown. We are aware that he succumb to his injury.
Earlier this week on Monday, I sat in as the Police spoke to the Press about this very traumatic and unfortunate event.
I take no joy in speaking to you about this incident which has caused quite a shock to go through the entire society of St. Kitts and Nevis but more especially, the communities of Hamilton and Government Road in Nevis.
This unfortunate event, the loss of a promising young life, is deeply regretted by myself and members of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and members of the Federal Government as well and I want to indicate that I spoke to the Prime Minister on Saturday morning, after I received the tragic news.
Over the weekend, I was in constant discussion with the senior Police Officers here in Nevis after receiving the tragic bad news. I also spoke to the father of the victim Mr. Raphael “Raffie” Wallace, whom I think, everybody knows is a very good friend of mine and I sought to express my condolences.
The shock of this incident, I know, did strike Mr. Wallace very devastatingly, knowing the relationship he had with his son and knowing the hope which he had of his son achieving greatness as a cricketer.
My fellow citizens, this shock comes at a time when we believe that the action of the police to curb crime and violence in the country had reached a new high level, as the Police Officers had been urged to perform their duties to serve and protect the citizenry of our country with professionalism and a new commitment.
We remember so vividly, the interaction we had with the Prime Minister and myself at the Police Barracks a week ago. We also noted a lull in reported serious crime during the last couple of weeks.
Fellow Citizens, I’m aware that nothing I say can restore Philo Wallace to his family and friends who are suffering immeasurably as a result of this tragic shooting. I am also aware, as I have said, that I spoke to Mr. Raffie Wallace, the father of the deceased young man and I sought to give him consolation.
However, it is hard, I believe, for any father to accept the shooting death of his son and I know that Raffie will be singularly devastated, knowing the relationship which he had with his son.
I extend again my heartfelt condolences to Raffie and all the family and friends of the deceased young man on his untimely demise.
I have heard and I have seen, the outpouring of what can only be described as uncontrollable grief and I know, that that grief will remain for a long time.
The Police have assured me, as they have assured the Nation, that they will do a thorough investigation of the events which led to this terrible tragic incident and I believe, that with the outpouring of grief and with the attempts which the Government has made to involve additional external support for the Police, that we will have a thorough investigation and we will know the extent of the events which led to this tragic shooting but even as we think and console the family of the victim, let us spare a though for the Police Officer.
Let us seek not to be judgmental even as we grieve. Let us know that the investigation has to be done and I expect that it will be done as speedily as possible, to bring a resolution to this event.
The Police High Command, as they answered the questions from the Press, gave certain assurances and I know that based on our discussions, that there will be new thought put into how they will deal with the discipline, how they will deal with the management of the Police Force.
Again, I extend on behalf of myself the Nevis Island Administration and the Federal Government, condolences to Raffie Wallace and his family and all the friends of the deceased young man Philo Wallace.
May God give us the strength to bear this loss and to comfort the family.