March 13, 2023 | By Colin O. Jarrett |
The St. Lucia government on Friday announced the closure of schools in the southern town of Vieux Fort after three people were shot and killed and a nine-year-old boy injured as a result of gun violence.
The Ministry of Education, in a statement, cited ‘the current unstable environment’ in Vieux Fort in announcing the closure of five schools in the area.
It said that the decision to close down the schools follow discussions with the Royal St. Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) and apologized for any inconvenience caused.
The ministry advised parents and guardians to make all necessary arrangements to keep themselves and their children safe.
The authorities said that two men, identified only as “Brico’ and ‘Dylan,” were shot and killed on Thursday afternoon at the fisheries complex. A woman was also shot and killed at the complex.
Police said that the nine-year-old had sustained injuries from the fisheries complex shooting.
The latest gun violence upsurge in Vieux Fort has been linked to continuing rival gang activity and media reports say residents in the southern town are bracing for more violence.
St. Lucia recorded 74 murders last year.