Abaco woman used shotgun to fend off looters

Days after Hurricane Dorian devastated Abaco, one resident recalled the harrowing night she had to fire her shotgun three times to prevent bandits from taking over her home.

“I never thought I would have to shoot at a fellow Bahamian to keep my mother and I safe,” Lian Kaighin, 48, a resident of Marsh Harbour, told The Nassau Guardian.

She said she had spent Tuesday and Wednesday cleaning and sanitizing the only room in her house that was not severely damaged.

Kaighin said she was preparing the room for her 77-year-old mother.

“A little part of me was like, ‘I can give mama a good bed to sleep on tonight,’” she said.

“I had the room looking perfect. It smelled like flowers and then the altercation with looters.”

Kaighin added, “Then, these two trucks come with nine men and I had to shoot at them. I mean, I didn’t shoot at their bodies, don’t misinterpret. I would only do that at close range to really save my life.

“They were 100 yards away and they were coming and I was up on the second-floor balcony and I had to fire three warning shots. The bad part about it was the way they talked back to me. I knew immediately that they were not Abaco people and that might sound bad to say and don’t hate me for it.”

However, Kaighin said that was not her most traumatizing experience from the storm.

She said one of the worst moments of the storm was when “the tidal wave” swallowed most of the settlement.

As she fought tears, Kaighin said, “We’re on a real Abaco hill and during the second part of the eye, the second half of the storm, I heard the sea coming up that hill.

“I thought to myself, ‘If I can hear the waves from this part where I’m sitting, there’s not many people left alive in Marsh Harbour.’ I’m 60 feet up and Marsh Harbour is eight feet up above noon high tide in a good spot.

“The feelings come over you that hundreds of people that you know are not going to be found.”

Dorian laid ruin to Abaco and Grand Bahama, making landfall on Elbow Cay with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour and gusts over 220 miles per hour.

The wind speed made Dorian the second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic.

The official death toll for the storm stands at 45, according to Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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