An innocent person could die’
An “indiscriminate” gun attack was condemned yesterday after bullets were fired at an apartment, in the island’s fourth shooting into a residence in less than two weeks.
No injuries were reported, but area residents said a one-year-old boy was typically present in the home, part of a government housing facility, off Field View Lane, off Parsons Road, Pembroke.
It is was the island’s sixth gun incident this month.
Police announced that three people had been held, with one arrested and then released on police bail, after a search warrant was executed at a home on nearby Peat Lane.
It came after two suspects on a motorcycle approached the Bermuda Housing Corporation building shortly before 8am and launched “multiple” gunshots, police said.
Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, said: “We will not let the destructive few wreak havoc in our community.”
Mr Caines said “all of Bermuda should be outraged”, calling it “a sombre reminder” of work to be done.
Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley branded the daylight attackers “evil, irresponsible and completely dismissive of the value of life”.
Forensic evidence was collected, and Mr Corbishley was “confident” arrests would be made “imminently”.
He said of the shootings: “Four of them have been indiscriminate, into buildings and through windows, through doors. Bullets are going into houses with real risk of hitting anybody from a child to a senior. An innocent person could die as a result.”
The neighbourhood stands a short distance from Happy Valley Lane, where a bullet through a window on Thursday night wounded a 21-year-old man in the shoulder.
Mr Corbishley said officers included outreach as part of an intensive effort over the past week, dubbed Operation Nimbus. He described it as “the largest deployment of police officers since my appointment as commissioner”.
Mr Corbishley said: “We are starting to understand what’s taking place, and some of the arguments ongoing between gang members.”
He implored the community to assist, adding: “It’s not snitching to stand up and stop this violence; it’s not snitching to say where guns are so we can remove them from our streets.”
Calling the circumstances “shocking”, Mr Corbishley described a scenario of “families getting up in the morning, having breakfast, and bullets coming through the door, through the window”.
Mr Corbishley added: “That’s why this level of violence has gone into a new theme; that’s why we’ve got to deal with it quickly.”
Speaking at a press conference called near the scene, he added: “What if a toddler had been behind that door this morning, and we were dealing with a death which would be catastrophic across the whole of Bermuda?”
There had been no indication of “any disturbance at the house beforehand”, he said.
Inquiries included checking security cameras, and the commissioner said a description of the suspects would be released when necessary.
“We work closely with pastor Leroy Bean on the gang reduction team,” he said. “We do have some inroads with gangs, former gang members who not only are there to give advice, but clearly it would be in their interests to stop this violence.”
Mr Corbishley said people were “not just tired of it — they’re extremely scared and extremely worried”.
Police voiced concern that the community could become desensitised to violence, putting innocent lives at risk. The spate of shootings came on the heels of 2019 standing out as the first year in more than two decades without a homicide.
Mr Caines said the Gang Violence Reduction Team had been “busy this weekend” reaching out to residents in affected neighbourhoods. Mr Caines added: “I echo the police commissioner’s plea — as a community, let’s band together to fight against the elements which seek to destroy our community, because the bleak reality is that these random acts of cowardice will end up causing serious injury to, or the death of, an innocent person, and we just simply cannot allow that to happen.”
• Witnesses to Sunday’s crime are urged to call the Serious Crime Unit at 247-1739 or the confidential and anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-8477
• UPDATE: This story was amended to say that there have been six gun incidents this month, not five as initially reported
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