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St Lucia police investigating fourth killing in a week

a close up of a gun at a crime sceneAfter a three month lull in gang violence here, the police are investigating circumstances that may have led to the fourth fatal shooting since Saturday.

Fresh from collecting evidence in Tuesday’s brazen daylight murder of Asher Emmanuel, 48, by three youths just outside capital the police were called out to the same area Thursday, to investigate the murder of James Alexander Nelson, 43.

Police who appealed for information on the latest spate of killing, said Nelson sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the body and died instantly.

Residents said they expected reprisals from the murder of Emmanuel‎ -an influential community leader, who according to them, spoke out against violence and had no part in the turf war among rival communities.

The two other shootings both in the capital occurred over the Easter holiday week end when Anthony Harris 49, a homeless man was hit by a stray bullet ‎fired by a man who eyewitnesses said was in hot pursuit of another male.

Three hours later Oran Wong Charles 27, was shot several times near his residence in South Castries, a victim of ‎gang violence, police said.

The two daylight murders ‎which occurred on Tuesday and Thursday attracted huge crowds who looked on as Police processed the crime scene.

Some residents told reporters they feared that gang violence that had dissipated for three months had escalated once again.

They also expressed fears that the Police, some of who admitted to being demoralized following the release of the IMPACTS report, may now be taking a less than active approach to crime fighting.

The IMPACTS report was prepared by a team of Jamaican investigators who looked into allegations of police killings of 12 youth who had been linked to a string of murders committed between 2010-2011.

Acting Police Commissioner Errol Alexander, hours after the third murder on , cautioned criminals, saying that while Police were pleased with this year’s 93 day record of no homicides, law enforcement will not let up in cracking down on gang violence.

“We are going to apply the full brunt of the law‎ where ever we have to. We are not down and out and if these criminals and them think we are, they have another thought coming,” he told a news conference.

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