BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – DELROY STAPLETON, a former Constable who was attached to the Beat and Patrol Unit of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, was on Friday convicted for the offences of Unlawful Wounding and Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place.
Strangely, and according to a police communiqué, the Lodge Village resident would have to return to court on Sunday, January 12, 2020 for his sentencing hearing.
Stapleton’s convictions stemmed from an incident in the wee hours of Monday, June 27, 2016 at the Frigate Bay Strip, where he had shot middle distance athlete Timoy Henry of Shadwell.
In an exclusive interview with this publication, Henry recounted the events that lead to the time of him being shot.
He explained that on the evening of Sunday, June 26, 2016, he and four friends had attended the White Sands Swimwear Competition at the Carambola Beach Club in South Friars Bay, at the end of which they decided to “chill out” at the Frigate Bay Strip.
“After leaving White Sands, me and four other guys who were part of the team to represent St. Kitts and Nevis at the OECS Track and Field Championship in the BVI decided to stop by Breeze Bar.
“We were chilling and dancing on the sand by the beach and two of them said they were tired and wanted to sit down. So they went past Vibes Beach Bar and sat down on some chairs, while me and the others remained there.”
The athlete said shortly after his two friends’ departure, he had purchased two Red Bulls from Breeze Beach Bar, one for himself and the other for his aunt. However, while sipping the energy drink, he felt hungry and went in search of an individual who sells hamburgers on the Strip.
“I went in search for the man who sells burgers. When I looked onto the roadway I saw his jeep and went and bought a burger from him. I stood by the jeep and was conversing with him while sipping my Red Bull and eating the burger. I bought another burger from him and he then left me by the jeep and went over by Breeze Bar.
“He returned in about two minutes and said to me, ‘Boy, all dem bad man in Breeze Bar boy.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s their business, I’m out here. They are in there and I am not going in there.’ After we talked for about four to five minutes, he said he was leaving and he will be back, but I had a strong feeling that he would not be coming back.”
Henry said that while still munching on his hamburger, he saw his brother in a car and he told him that he would return in a few minutes. “But my mind was like when he comes back I am going home, because I sensed that something was about to happen, judging from what the burger man told men.”
He continued: “While standing on the road, about five minutes after an altercation started in Breeze Bar, bottles started fling and a lot of people were running. I saw some of them being trampled. At that time, I remained standing but decided to go up by Vibes Bar because the altercation was heading in my direction.
“While heading there, I kept watching what was going on and I heard a shot fired. And then I hear a voice saying, ‘Which one of you all got a gun?’ So when I looked behind a bus I saw the same officer who shot me. He went up to two guys and asked them the same question and one of them replied, ‘We ain’t got no gun, is one of them shoot after us.’”
Henry said he then removed from that area because those involved in the confrontation were getting closer to where he was standing.
“I then positioned myself behind a bus to evade the throwing of bottles and I saw many people running near to me and ducking behind cars and whatever cover they could find. I even saw when a girl fell in the pond and was holding on to a tree. So I decided that I am not going to stay here.
“I took about three steps from behind the bus and I saw when the officer shot a guy in his foot. It happened so fast that I felt shaken. The man who was shot was limping away and the officer fired another shot at him. That is when I got shot in my neck!”
The athlete explained that he did not feel anything when the bullet struck his neck but “I feel when it hit the bone in my hand”.
“The shot went through my neck from the left side, through my shoulder then hit the bone in my right hand. My hand just went dead and like it was on fire. I held onto my hand and thought that I was shot with a rubber bullet but I started to feel wet. I also thought that I was shot in my hand. So I went behind a car and called out to a girl that I know, saying, ‘Tiny I got shot.’ But when she was coming to assist me, her boyfriend pulled her back down and told her to get on the ground.
“I then went out on the road and I went up to the officer and said: ‘Junior you shot me, Junior you shot me.’ But he just stood there looking at me not saying anything at all…just watching me.”
Henry said he fell on the ground and was calling out for help.
“A friend of mine, a Spanish girl and another girl who I didn’t know came to help me. They took off my shirt and put it on my neck and that is when I knew where I was shot.”
The middle distance runner thought that he was going to die, but in his state of almost losing consciousness he called upon God.
“I was lying on the ground for a while and many people had gathered around me. My eyes were opened but I couldn’t see and my heartbeat had slowed. There was no feeling of life in my body and I heard the voices of my auntie and one of my teammates, Lestrod Roland. My auntie was crying, saying, ‘Timoy wake up’ while Lestrod was saying, ‘Wake up Bush, wake up.’ At that time, I felt as if all was lost and I said: ‘Father, you know I am not ready to die, I have too many things to do. I have a son and I am not ready to die.’ Then I gave a big gasp, started breathing normal and the light came back to my eyes and I started to see.
“I saw the officer standing over me and he was pushing the people away from the scene. I then turned to him and said: ‘Junior you shot me, Junior you shot me.’ And I took my feet and wrapped them around his foot but he moved off the scene.”
Henry, who is a painter by trade and had received his contractor licence some two years prior to the incident, explained that on the officer’s departure, a large number of people had gathered around him and he told them who had shot him.
He also explained that he did not know what transpired after disclosing who shot him, but on regaining consciousness he found himself on a bed in the Joseph N France General Hospital.
Stapleton was off-duty at the time of the incident and a police press release issued on Tuesday February 21, 2017 informed that he was charged with “inflicting grievous bodily injury with a weapon” and “unlawful discharge of a firearm”.