On June 22, 2020, in St. Michael, southwest Barbados, a man attacked and killed Christoff Griffith, a photojournalist for The Nation newspaper, according to news reports and Carol Martindale, executive director of The Nation, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview.
Griffith had traveled to the area to cover a crime scene; he arrived before police, and was killed by the suspected perpetrator of the original crime, the killing of a man identified as Glenroy James, according to Martindale and those reports. Both victims were found with multiple lacerations across their bodies, according to those reports.
Griffith, 24, had been working as a photojournalist for The Nation since 2014, according to Martindale, who said that the journalist “must have thought that the perpetrator had fled the area” when rushing to the crime scene.
The killings took place at an abandoned property that James had been hired to clean, according to those news reports, which identified the suspected killer as a homeless person who had been sleeping at the scene.
On June 22, police arrested Dwayne Omar Gittens, 35, and charged him with two counts of murder for Griffith and James’ killings, according to news reports. Gittens appeared before the District A Magistrates Court on June 27, where a judge ordered he remain detained at Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds until at least July 24, and undergo a psychiatric evaluation while in detention, according to news reports.
On June 23, Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley issued a statement expressing her condolences on behalf of the government.
When CPJ called the Royal Barbados Police Force, a representative said they would transfer the call to the relevant department, but then no one picked up.