Homicides in Grand Case: friends of murdered boyfriend beat lover to death and attempt to kill two others

On Sunday morning, the Saint-Martin gendarmerie arrested two individuals implicated in the double homicide committed on Saturday night.

"This could have been a much more serious drama, but this drama could also have been prevented if one of the individuals had not been armed," commented the Deputy Prosecutor, Yves Paillard, during a press conference held late in the afternoon in the presence of the gendarmerie. On Saturday night, two men were killed, but two others were also nearly killed.

At around 12:45 AM, a man visibly overcome by strong feelings of jealousy and also highly under the influence of alcohol decided to look for his girlfriend, who had gone out. He suspected that she was at the bar in Grand Case at the intersection of the rue des Écoles and the highway. He went there with two of his friends. Once at the establishment, they saw her dancing with another man. The boyfriend assumed that the man was his girlfriend’s lover. The situation degenerated very quickly. The supposed lover took out the 9mm weapon that he carried - "a Glock 17, a weapon reserved for security forces", specified the Deputy Prosecutor - and fired on the boyfriend. He was mortally wounded to the head. The boyfriend died several hours later at the hospital.

Seeing their friend lying on the ground, the two friends quickly responded by hurling themselves at the lover. One of them grabbed the weapon and fired, but he was unable to get the weapon to work. They then beat him with the butt of the revolver. The lover also died several hours later, at the hospital.

In the meantime, the young woman ran away, but the two friends found her. They threatened her and also attempted to fire on her, but the weapon still did not work.

The two friends then visited another individual whom they suspected of being the cause of the dispute between their friend and his girlfriend. They also threatened to kill her. The woman they visited managed to get hold of the weapon and flee with it. She then went directly to the gendarmes. The weapon was seized and was subject to analysis. "The investigation must confirm that it is, indeed, the weapon of the crime," specified the Deputy Prosecutor.

Upon their arrival at the site of the murders, the gendarmes first had to face the crowd. "There is a lot of tension," reported Captain Emmanuel Maignan. "It took around twenty minutes for us to figure out what had happened," he added. Gendarmes from the research division (ex-research brigade), criminal technicians, mobile gendarmerie: significant assets were deployed. The two friends were quickly identified. They were apprehended on Sunday in the streets of Grand Case at 10 and 11 AM. "We went to the home of the second individual in Grand Case at 11 AM, but he wasn’t there. We apprehended him in the street shortly thereafter," stated Captain Maignan.

They were detained and should appear in court Monday evening, where their indictment and placement in pre-trial custody should be pronounced. The investigation will also be entrusted to the criminal division in Pointe-à-Pitre.

All persons implicated in the affair are between 24 and 26 years old, and all reside in Grand Case.

The young woman at the center of the affair has been placed under protection.

The first steps of the investigation, which has mobilized around fifteen judicial police officers, revealed that she lived together with the first victim and her four children. However, adultery has not yet been confirmed.

This affair brings the number of homicides committed in the French side up to eight since the beginning of this year. Note that "jealousy is a relatively rare motive here in Saint-Martin, unlike in Guadeloupe," commented the commander of the gendarmerie, Sébastien Manzoni.

Finally, the gendarmerie invites all individuals who were present at the bar on Saturday night to testify at the station in Savane in order to provide any information that may help investigators to understand what happened. Of the forty people estimated present, only four have testified.

Estelle Gasnet