Police link four firearms incidents

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  • Police commissioner Stephen Corbishley speaks on recent firearms activity (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Police commissioner Stephen Corbishley speaks on recent firearms activity (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A string of firearms incidents in the space of 24 hours are thought to be related, police revealed yesterday.

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley said that a “significant number of investigative resources” had been deployed to investigate the four crimes.

He added: “We looked at four incidents that have taken place in rapid succession that we believe are all connected.”

However, he declined to link the shootings to gang warfare.

Mr Corbishley said: “The issue around gang violence is often put forward to us as a fallout or friction between two gangs.

“I think sometimes that’s an easy thing to say.

“We’ve got to understand what the motivation is for this, what the fallout is for it, because it actually gives us opportunity to try and resolve, disrupt and prevent.”

Mr Corbishley added that they were “extremely serious incidents where the loss of life was a very realistic scenario”.

He said: “We’ve had four firearms incidents in 24 hours.

“For me, nothing could be more serious.”

He was speaking after gun incidents erupted between the early hours of Monday morning and the evening.

Two took place in the Khyber Heights Road area, in Warwick, on Monday night.

Superintendent Nicholas Pedro, head of the Serious Crime Division, said that officers were called to a house on Scott’s Lane South where they found that “about five rounds” had been fired through a kitchen door.

He said that two brothers, aged 25 and 21, were at home at the time and that it was believed that other people were present.

Mr Pedro said that police at the scene learnt that a man had been shot at a short time earlier.

A 26-year-old man was shot several times near a bus stop on North Shore Road, Devonshire, between the junctions with Dock Hill and The Glebe Road, about four hours earlier.

It is understood that the man was hit in both arms and both legs after two men on a motorcycle drove up and opened fire at about 2.30pm.

Mr Pedro said the victim had undergone surgery and was still in hospital.

The first incident happened on Morgan’s Road, Warwick, at about 1am, where a house was fired at. Mr Pedro said a 60-year-old woman who lived at the house with her son, aged 20, reported gunfire.

He added: “They discovered that a firearm had been discharged into the house.”

Mr Corbishley said: “It concerns me greatly that we don’t have other retaliatory incidents take place as we go forward.”

Mr Pedro said that all four crime scenes had been processed for evidence.

He added: “We have a full gambit of resources looking at these issues ... we have a full press of officers available to respond and address these types of incidents, and indeed we had officers on each one of these scenes very quickly.”

He added that it was “vitally important” that anyone with information about the shootings contacted police.

Mr Corbishley said that uniformed patrols had been stepped up in all the affected areas.

He added that he was “confident” that those involved in the shootings would be found by police.

He added: “I don’t want to be in this situation.

“I want to be in a situation where such incidents don’t take place and we prevent them.”

Mr Corbishley said: “Taking one gun or one bullet off the streets saves one life.”

National security minister Wayne Caines said today: “At the start of this new year, the Gang Violence Reduction Team lead by Pastor Leroy Bean welcomed the encouraging news that 2019 closed without a single life being lost to homicide in Bermuda. We lauded the hard work of individuals and organisations from the private, public, and charitable sectors of our society.

“All involved demonstrated their commitment to not only preserving life but developing programmes to ensure that each of those lives was given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“Any act of gun or gang violence in our community is always of grave concern. And sadly the recent gun activity earlier this week has reminded us all that there is still a misguided element in our society that is governed by a narrative of violence.

“There are those who still seem unable to resolve conflict through peaceful discourse, but rather seek to use a weapon as the instrument of their anger.

“The violence many read about and some witnessed earlier this week are the actions of a few. And these few are not representative of Bermuda.

“They do not represent the countless young people in our community who demonstrate their enthusiasm and their excellence each day in their schools, their clubs, and their neighbourhoods.

“As the Minister of National Security, I ask all of you who love this country and who want to continue the progress we have made in the areas of gang prevention, violence reduction and restorative justice to work with us to bring about calm in our community.

“Always remember that you are the many — you are the ones who continue to work for peace in our country; you are the families who show their commitment every day to our children becoming the future of this nation; you are the individuals and organisations which work to educate, support, and uplift others; and you are business, religious, civic, and social leaders who work tirelessly to help create programmes, policies, and processes that ensure we maintain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive society.

“Let’s not let the destructive few determine who we are and what our country will be. As the Minister of National Security, I urge you to continue working with us to eradicate the divisive and violent element of our society and help our country become what we all know it can be.”

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Published Feb 5, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 5, 2020 at 12:31 pm)

Police link four firearms incidents

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