Witnesses to Monday’s horrific attack on Kemba Olufemi yesterday said they were too scared to intervene because the attacker had a gun.
After the video of the incident went viral on Facebook, several people expressed their disgust that no one, including the security, tried to help Olufemi.
Police found the loaded .38 revolver which Lloyd Logan used to beat Olufemi to within an inch of her life on the scene of the incident at Tropical Plaza, Pointe-a-Pierre, on Monday. Logan, 62, repeatedly struck Olufemi, 52, on her head with the gun after it jammed when he first tried to shoot her. Logan then ended his life by drinking poison.
Olufemi had broken off her relationship with Logan two weeks ago but agreed to meet him at the Plaza.
One of the security guards who patrols the compound yesterday told T&T Guardian he was not around when the incident took place but said he understood why his colleagues did not intervene.
He said, “In that situation, the security could not have done anything. He had a gun, we are bare hands, we do not have guns.”
He said the situation was unfortunate.
An employee of one of the businesses at the plaza said, “He had a gun. No one wanted to come out. They were scared.”
She said the casino had its own security but had not yet opened.
Another worker said the place was not busy, there were a few customers and not many vehicles in the car park.
Addressing the issue yesterday, psychologist Dr Katija Khan said when people decide to help or not in such situations, they also weigh the potential danger to themselves.
“I think with someone waving a gun they will definitely think about the risk involved. I do not think people are uncaring. But we cannot let fear and concern override the need to help persons who desperately need it,” Khan said.
She admitted fear and anxiety over the crime situation will definitely impact on how people act.
“In this situation there are two factors, concern for crime in general and also intervening in this specific situation of domestic violence,” Khan said.
Apart from physical aid, however, she said people could have helped in other ways.
“If you feel it is risky you can call the police, you can shout out, you can blow your horn but certainly not the all or nothing response,” she said.
Khan said some of the tell-tale signs of abuse, whether it be psychological, verbal, financial or psychological, include controlling, possessive and aggressive behaviour.
“Gas-lighting, which is when they manipulate you into feeling as though you are the problem and you start to doubt yourself. They isolate you from your friends and family. Poor communication is a big red flag, they either shout at you or give you the silent treatment.”
Saying that domestic violence is a crisis in this country, she added, “There must be zero tolerance for abuse.”