‘I was lucky’: British photographer, 72, speaks of his relief after surviving shooting by masked gunmen in St Lucia that killed his estate manager friend
- Peter Jackson, 72, was injured in shooting that killed his friend Donnie McKinnon
- The victims were on the balcony of Steve’s Bar in the town of Soufriere, St Lucia
- Mr Jackson, who has lived on island for 30 years, said Mr McKinnon was targeted
- He said: ‘I was lucky. My friend, not so. My friend was the target, not me.’
A photographer has spoken of his relief after surviving a shooting by masked gunmen in St Lucia.
Peter Jackson, 72, was injured in a shooting that killed his friend Donnie McKinnon in the town of Soufriere on the west coast of the Caribbean island on Saturday.
The victims were on the balcony of Steve’s Bar on Market Road when the masked gunmen approached and fired shots in broad daylight.
Mr Jackson, a photographer from Accrington who has lived on the island for 30 years, said Mr McKinnon was the target of the attack.
Peter Jackson (pictured), 72, a photographer from Accrington, Lancashire, who has been living on the Caribbean island for over 30 years, was injured in the attack
It comes as it was claimed yesterday that Donnie McKinnon was gunned down in a ‘personal vendetta’
The victims were on the balcony of Steve’s Bar on Market Road when the masked gunmen approached and fired shots (Pictured: The crime scene cordoned off by police)
He told The Times: ‘I was lucky. My friend, not so. My friend was the target, not me. Wrong place, they say.’
Mr Jackson, a well-known community activist and former director of the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation, was taken to St Jude Hospital to be treated for his gunshot wound.
He added: ‘The bullet went straight through my shoulder and I’m lucky to get away with a fractured humerus.
‘We are only a small community but our medical services do a great job with limited resources.’
It comes as it was claimed yesterday that Mr McKinnon was gunned down in a ‘personal vendetta’.
The 48-year-old – who grew up in Fort William and managed an Aberdeen hotel before moving to the island in 2009 – was yesterday described as ‘lovely, unassuming and very popular’.
Police investigators are still hunting the masked gunmen. But it has been reported that the shooting was ‘targeted’.
A local source was quoted as saying: ‘It did not look like a random attack.’
Donnie McKinnon (pictured) was killed in the alleged attack, that took place at a local bar in the town of Soufriere
Mr Jackson was injured in the alleged attack and taken to the island’s St. Jude Hospital (pictured)
Mr McKinnon (pictured right) was the manager of the Soufriere Estate on the island, a 2,000 acre former working plantation
Author and retired secondary school teacher Clive Sankardayal, a friend of both victims, said: ‘I am still shaken by what has happened to Peter and especially Donnie.’
He said that Mr McKinnon – who managed the Soufriere estate, which is home to the Diamond Falls and Diamond Botanical Gardens tourist attractions – had recently moved house with his wife and young son.
Mr McKinnon was also the general manager at Marcliffe Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen between 2007 and 2009.
The hotel said in a statement: ‘All of us at the Marcliffe are devastated to hear of the death of Donnie McKinnon in such terrible and violent circumstances.
‘We will remember him as the lovely, unassuming and very popular guy we all knew. He will be sorely missed. We send our love and condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.’
Mr Sankardayal said Mr McKinnon had died from bullet wounds in his back, adding: ‘I don’t have all the information yet. But I understand it was a personal vendetta and not robbery.’
The weekend attack meant St Lucia’s death toll from gun violence so far this year has risen to 68, prompting acting local police commissioner Crusita Descartes-Pelius to issue a stark warning.
She said: ‘To the individuals intent on wreaking havoc, you will be weeded out.’ A St Lucia police spokesman said: ‘The matter is under investigation. We are taking statements from individuals.’
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British man who has died and a British man who has been injured in St Lucia.’