Lewis condemns gun violence, says culprits will face full extent of law | THE DAILY HERALD

The wave of fear in the community intensified on Monday when news started circulating that a fourth shooting had occurred, this time on Bush Road. The shooting occurred around 3:20am. A male was injured. He was transported to St Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and had been undergoing treatment. His condition was listed as serious, but stable. Monday’s shooting followed three shootings in two districts on Saturday: two in Dutch Quarter and one in Simpson Bay in which three males were injured and nursing gunshot wounds in SMMC. Photo shows a scene of the Monday morning shooting.


PHILIPSBURG–Justice Minister Lyndon Lewis issued a statement on Monday condemning gun violence and urged perpetrators to think before they act, as they will face prosecution to the full extent of the law.
  Lewis’ statement came after news that a fourth shooting had occurred in three days. Three shootings occurred on Saturday and the fourth in the wee hours of Monday morning.
  Lewis said the series of troubling incidents has raised concerns in the community. He acknowledged the distress and concern these events have caused among the residents of St. Maarten and emphasised the importance of community safety. “As your Minister, the safety and security of our community continue to be my top priority. St. Maarten has always prided itself on being a safe community for all. It is my duty to ensure that safety continues for our children and our children’s children,” he said.
  In a direct message to those involved in the violence, Lewis said: “As Minister of Justice, I condemn gun violence. You are not only destroying your life, but also the lives of others, our community and the bread and butter of our economy – our tourism industry. I urge you to think before you act, as you will face prosecution to the full extent of the law.”
  Lewis also addressed the broader community, acknowledging the need for swift action and the ongoing efforts to bring those responsible to justice. “We understand the urgency and the need for swift action. The relevant bodies are continuing their investigation to bring those involved to justice. However, while we pursue justice, we must also remember the values that define us. Let us not be consumed by hatred or fear. Instead, let us find strength in our unity and compassion.
  “The KPSM [St. Maarten Police Force – Ed.] has begun their investigation into the recent surge in gun violence. To the victims, I offer my strength and prayers to you and your family, and I wish you a speedy recovery. In some recent cases, others have succumbed to their injuries, and to their loved ones, I extend my deepest sympathies during this time of grief."
  Lewis called for community vigilance and support for law enforcement. "I call upon each one of you to remain vigilant and to support our law enforcement agencies in their investigation. Justice will be served. We will not rest until those responsible are held accountable. And together, we will heal and move forward."

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/lewis-condemns-gun-violence-says-culprits-will-face-full-extent-of-law