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St Kitts and Nevis (WINN: The business community is expressing deep concern and sadness over the shooting death of the owner of Philisha's Guest House, Benjamin Joseph, in Pinney's Road Nevis.

Multiple shots were fired at Mr. Joseph Saturday night (Aug 19) as he exited his vehicle at his home on Pinney's Road. He was stuck several times and died at the Alexandra Hospital Monday.

President of the Nevis Division of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Mr. Ernie France expressed condolences to Mr. Joseph's relatives.

“Mr. Joseph is a well known businessman here in the community in Nevis and probably more well known for his involvement with a quarry business which he operated for years in the Potworks area but in more recent times he operated and owned as I understand it, Philisha’s Guest House, in the Pinneys area here in Nevis. A very hard working gentleman and someone who goes about his business, works hard and operates his business. I have never known him to be involved in anything that is questionable and so it’s really very disconcerting to learn of his passing.”

He told WINN 98.9 that the business community was in mourning.

“Yet again the Nevisian community and more specifically the business community has been thrust into a state of mourning on learning of the passing of Mr. Benjamin. The tragic event has left many persons shocked and dismayed and as a private sector body the Chamber is particularly troubled that this type of criminal activity where businessmen are targeted, shot and killed. It is very serious and it is very disconcerting and we are once again calling on the local and federal government to move expeditiously, even more expeditiously and with greater haste to ensure the execution of the plans that we have heard of to ensure that the citizens and the business communities of this country are protected from this type of criminal activity.”

Mr. France said the Chamber has encouraged its members to do all in their power to tighten security and the government has responded with duty free concessions for security apparatus.

He said the issue of personal security is now being seriously considered. Asked about the major deterrent to crime which is to catch and successfully prosecute assailants, Mr. France acknowledged that more has to be done to make criminals pay for their actions.

“The mechanism has to be in place to ensure that persons are convicted when caught, that even before that the training provided to our police officers and so on to ensure that the rate of detection of these crimes is improved and these people can be brought to justice. If the criminals know that they are gonna be caught I think they will think twice before committing these crimes, but when you know that there is a very high chance that you’re gonna get away I think they prefer to take that chance. And unfortunately what we are seeing is that a lot of them are getting away and a lot of these crimes are going unsolved.”

Mr. Joseph's death marks the seventh homicide on the island of Nevis for this year.

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