The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - Keryn Nel­son

As if news of a fire that flat­tened three build­ings in Cas­tries were not enough cause for pause early Tues­day morn­ing, re­ports of a homi­cide the night be­fore also shook the na­tion. The vic­tim was Kim­berly Wil­liam-De Leon, 42, a mother of two small chil­dren, ages nine and five. A neigh­bour, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, told this re­porter he and other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity on Chef Harry Drive, in Morne For­tune, had heard the sound of gun­fire. “It had to be at least seven shots,” he said. “I checked on my fam­ily and made sure the house was se­cure, then I waited be­fore go­ing to a win­dow. Af­ter a few min­utes I looked out, up the road and down, but didn't see any­thing.”

The po­lice said they re­sponded to re­ports of shots be­ing fired on Mon­day around 10:30 pm and dis­cov­ered Kim­berly's body at her ad­dress. At a press con­fer­ence on Tues­day morn­ing, Do­rian O'Brian, Act­ing Deputy Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice re­ported: “The vic­tim is the wife of a po­lice of­fi­cer at­tached to the Royal Saint Lu­cia Po­lice Force. Due to past do­mes­tic in­ci­dents which were re­ported to the force, where we took ac­tion, it was of ne­ces­sity that the po­lice of­fi­cer be­come a per­son of in­ter­est. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on-go­ing and it is in a very ac­tive stage.”

In an­swer to press ques­tions con­cern­ing the num­ber of do­mes­tic abuse re­ports against the of­fi­cer by his wife, O'Brian replied: “I can re­call there have been two in­ci­dents prior that po­lice did re­spond to and had to quell cer­tain is­sues be­tween the wife and the hus­band. But I can't go into the de­tails.”

About the way the re­ports were han­dled and their time­line, he added: “Presently I know it was dealt with by se­nior of­fi­cers but I can­not tell you what the ac­tion was. How re­cent? I do not want to give in­for­ma­tion that is not cor­rect but it is maybe be­tween the re­gion of six to seven months ago.”

O'Brian promised to up­date the press as the in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tinue. “Let me as­sure you the per­son car­ry­ing out the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is a se­nior of­fi­cer,” he said. “One of the most se­nior of­fi­cers within the ma­jor crime depart­ment. I would also like to clear the air that the po­lice force, my­self and the as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner for crime, had a proper brief­ing this morn­ing to en­sure that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will not be bi­ased just be­cause the per­son of in­ter­est is a po­lice of­fi­cer.”

At time of writ­ing there has been no up­date on the case. Mean­while, the un­con­firmed word is that the of­fi­cer O'Brian ref­er­enced is no longer a per­son of in­ter­est and has re­sumed reg­u­lar du­ties.

Kim­berly Wil­liam-De Leon was em­ployed at the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion. Her col­leagues there de­scribed her as “quiet and am­i­ca­ble”. Her chil­dren have been placed in the care of Hu­man Ser­vices.

Many Saint Lu­cians have ex­pressed anger gen­er­ated by the po­lice re­port that some­one as­so­ci­ated with in­ci­dents of do­mes­tic abuse had been per­mit­ted to keep his job on the force, never ap­pear­ing be­fore the courts. A group of con­cerned cit­i­zens on Thurs­day held a “mo­ment of si­lence” in hon­our of the de­ceased at Con­sti­tu­tion Park in Cas­tries. Ac­cord­ing to or­gan­is­ers, the event was a “silent protest against the killing of our women”.

At time of writ­ing the po­lice have of­fered no new word on the Morne homi­cide. By re­li­able ac­count, no one has been ar­rested.

Kim­berly Wil­liam-De Leon, 42, was shot to death in her home on Mon­day evening.

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