The regular dance following the River Sallee Saraka held annually at the River Sallee Government School, ended prematurely and with bloodshed last Friday.
One man from the village armed with a cutlass was shot at close range by police while another also sustained gunshot wounds in the same incident following an outbreak of fights that led to a number of persons sustaining severe injuries at the hands of acutlass wielding man, who was later put down by a single from police.
Up to press time it was still not clear what inspired the violence but one bystander said that there was a sudden outbreak of fights between two groups. He said more and more persons kept joining the fracas in support of friends that were already involved, which caused the conflict to escalate to scary proportions.
Another bystander related that there was blood everywhere. He said persons were seen running from the dancehall, their clothes stained in blood with no knowledge where the blood came from. In the panic people were seen running in all directions leading to some being hurt in the stampede to escape the violence.
As a result of the violence, which the police was attempting to bring under a number of persons were rushed to hospital including the both men who sustained gunshot wounds.
Sources say one of the men had left the scene after he was beaten up by a number of other men with whom he had an altercation and returning with a cutlass entered the dancehall and started chopping at random. He was ordered by police to drop the weapon, a source says but he refused and persisted in his attacks. A shot was fired, hitting him and he fell to the ground groaning in pain. The sound of the shot assisting in dispersing the crowd and the dance ended at that point. Observers said drivers who were attempting to flee the scene ran into other vehicles, creating traffic jams and exacerbating the confusion.
However, a source said, as the police was working to get the situation under control one man who had left the scene and returned with a cutlass was ordered by police to drop the weapon. He refused this command and continued heading in the direction of the fight. A shot was fired, hitting him and he fell to the ground moaning in pain. The sound of the shot also further dispersed the crowd and effectively ended the dance.