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Gun murder in 2003 was a ‘catalyst’ for today’s killings

Bermuda may have seen an explosion in gun crime in the last two years but the gangs perpetrating it are nothing new, according to Detective Chief Inspector Nicholas Pedro.The Royal Gazette she felt her son had been forgotten.

The head of special investigations for Bermuda Police Service’s Serious Crime Division described the 2003 murder of 20-year-old Shaundae Jones as the “catalyst” for the killings happening today.

Det Chief Insp Pedro said there was strong evidence of gang involvement in the slaying of Bermuda College student Mr Jones, who was shot in a car pulling away from the Club Malabar nightclub in Dockyard.

His killing came three months after he gave evidence about the stabbing death of Tekle Mallory at Paget Ice Queen in 2001.

Det Chief Insp Pedro said: “Shaundae Jones was really the catalyst for the gang shooting violence that we have seen since then. It was really the case that started all that off.

“The gangs that we have today, they didn’t start all of a sudden two years ago. They have been growing for some time now, to the extent they are fully-fledged entities now.”

He said the unsolved murder of Shaundae Jones could be “linked into the trouble that we are seeing now” though the victim was not believed to be in a gang himself.

“He lived in an area and was friendly with people that certainly could be considered gang members,” said Mr Pedro. “He himself was not.”

Det Chief Insp Pedro pointed to a later unsolved murder, that of Jason Lightbourne in 2006, as similarly linked to today’s animosity between gangs such as Parkside and 42.

“Certainly in the Shaundae Jones and Jason Lightbourne cases there were very distinct gang aspects or hallmarks to it,” said the detective.

“They were gang-related and they were related to those gangs we are hearing about now.”

He said 18-year-old Mr Lightbourne was “certainly murdered by gang members” and may have been on the periphery of gang life himself.

“He was in a car with identified persons we would consider gang members. Whether or not he was the intended target, we can’t say.”

Shaundae’s mother Marsha told

Ms Jones said: “It’s been eight years; I feel kind of deflated. I know they try but it just seems like it’s nothing happening. It’s hard.

“I’m so happy for other people who are finally getting closure or the possibility of having closure. But it seems that Shaundae is back there in 2003 and he’s just stuck there.”

She said she received an update from police this week but had previously not spoken to them since April.

“I was feeling kind of forgotten. It’s very hard on a mother to just cope with every day, knowing that you have no kind of closure to the case. It’s frustrating as well. I just feel like: is any energy being put into this? I’m really feeling like a flat tyre.”

Ms Jones said she had lived with her son’s death for eight years and it was hugely important to her “to have some kind of conclusion to what happened to him and [to know] why and [to have] somebody being held responsible”.

“I can’t bring him back, I can only miss him but it will make my life a lot better if somebody was held responsible for my son’s death.”

Mr Lightbourne’s family declined to comment.

Of the 19 murder cases considered “unsolved” by Bermuda Police Service, 14 involved firearms.

l Useful websites: www.bps.bm, www.crimestoppers.bm.

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Published August 26, 2011 at 11:20 am (Updated August 26, 2011 at 11:20 am)

Gun murder in 2003 was a ‘catalyst’ for today’s killings

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