BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) — Police said Monday they have arrested two robbers who set a clothing store ablaze, killing six young women in the normally tranquil capital of the Caribbean island.
Commissioner Darwin Dottin said 21-year-old Renaldo Anderson Alleyne and 19-year-old Jamar Bynoe have been charged with six counts of murder, aggravated burglary, and arson in the Sept. 3 attack.
"Evidence suggests the two are friends and planned and carried out the burglary," Dottin said Monday. He said investigators had "massive help from the public," even though it took more than a week to make arrests.
The suspects had not yet entered pleas on Monday and it was not immediately clear if they had attorneys.
Investigators allege the suspects burst into a Bridgetown clothing shop and demanded money before setting the place on fire. The blaze killed six women aged 18 to 24, shocking people across the island where crime is rare and usually involves petty theft.
Three of the women were employees at the Campus Trendz Boutique, and the other three were customers. They were apparently trapped when they ran to the back of the store to escape the smoke and flames.
George Payne, chairman of the opposition Barbados Labour Party, has called for the death penalty if the suspects are convicted. The island has not executed anyone since 1984.
In 2006, the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest appeals court for Barbados, rejected an appeal by the Barbados government that sought to restore execution orders for two convicted murderers.