THE island’s latest homicide victim is 55-year-old Babonneau resident, John Baptiste Honora. Baptiste was shot in the head by an unknown assailant outside his girlfriend’s home near the playing field in Reduit, Gros Islet, at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday 12th February. The incident occurred moments after John arrived in the vicinity. His girlfriend, whom he had just dropped off, was inside the house when the shooting occurred.
According to eyewitness reports, the assailant made no attempt to rob John, which was an indication of an execution-style killing. The assailant was alleged to have emerged out of a vehicle parked yards away from John’s girlfriend’s house. Police have not released any further details on this matter, but an investigation is reported to be underway. News of John’s murder has been particularly shocking to those who knew him, as he was not known to be involved in any violent conflicts or disputes. Residents of Reduit have expressed deep concern over this incident, noting that it transpired in the light of day, which was a demonstration of the alarming boldness of criminals.
John was the island’s fifth homicide victim for 2020, and the fourth to be gunned down. One prior incident was a double homicide in Babonneau which claimed the lives of two Babonneau residents. This means that three out of the five homicide victims for the year so far were Babonneau residents. Law enforcement officials have expressed concern over the frequency of gun-related offenses which have taken place of late. A number of illegal firearms and ammunition have been recovered in recent police searches in various parts of the island.
John was the proprietor of Stamp Rite Inc., a company which provides rubber stamps, engravings, notary seals and other accessories. The company immediately suspended its operations in the wake of the fatal shooting of the proprietor and has since announced that services will not be available when operations resume on Monday, until further notice.