MOTHER OF TWO FATALLY SHOT AT CHEF HARRY DRIVE!
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.