27 December 2012

Liberia: Xmas Eve - 20 Wounded At the Dejavu Night Club

Photo: The New Dawn
Police patrol.

The Christmas festivity turned out to be bloody for some 20 persons who were seriously wounded in a clash between two groups of youngsters over a lady in Sinkor, outside Monrovia.

The bloody episode on the eve of Christmas Day at the Dejavu Night Club started when the rival groups, one led by a Diaspora Liberian identified as Joe Cassell, son of Gender and Development Minister Julia Duncan-Cassell, and the other headed by Keke Gibson, son of business mogul Sam Gibson, reportedly engaged in a fist fight over one Miss. Laurene Shanon, daughter of former Lands and Mines Minister Eugene Shannoh.

Details of the fighting remained sketchy but there are reports that scores of people were rounded up at the night club which was also shut down pending police investigations into "gansterism," police sources informed our news desk.

"By an instruction of the Inspector General of Police, Col. Chris Massaquoi, Dejavu has been ordered closed. It would remain close until an investigation is conducted into what we refer to an act of gangsterism.

"Two rival groups engaged each other in a fight where 20 persons were reported to have sustained serious injuries. That attracted the attention of the police to intervene by closing the area to protect life and property," said Sam Collins, Police Media and Communication Coordinator.

According to the reports, it all started when a member of one of the groups insulted Miss Shannon who is alleged to be in a relationship with Joe, leader of Liberians in the Diaspora.

But Colins said that the intervention of Col. Massaquoi, who he said, also drove to the scene of the fighting, prevented the situation from getting worse as they rushed the victims to the John F. Kenedy (JFK) hospital for treatment.

All efforts to talk to Laurene proved futile as her brother Musa Shannon and other associates prevented her from chatting with the press while they were walking in the corridors of the headquarters of the Liberian National Police (LNP).

Attempts to also take her photo were greeted with a tough resistance from LNP officers.

Some people familiar with the case who could not also comment on the issue for 'personal reasons,' were also seen at the LNP headquarters yesterday helping the police with their investigation.

Sam Gibson was also seen at the LNP headquarters. He also told our reporter later that his son was not the ring leader of the group. He said he got to know about his son's involvement yesterday morning.

Police could not however disclose the conclusion of their probe after several hours of investigation as Keke and his rival friends were seen in handcuff leaving the premises of police headquarters for the Monrovia Central Prison pending trial.

Minister Duncan Cassell who denied her son's involvement in the incident, told this paper in an exclusive interview, that her son was a victim who got gashed in the head.

Asked how Joe got wounded, she said he was an 'unfortunate victim' but was not directly involved in the incident.

"He was admitted at the John F. Kennedy Hospital two nights ago and brought stitches home. My son was not leading any party. He is a peaceful person," Minister Cassell told this paper yesterday.

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