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Bus driver relives shooting of passenger

Magistrates' Court (file photograph)

A bus driver has described the moment he sped off from a gunman who opened fire at a passenger sat directly behind him. Menelik Isaac told a Supreme Court jury yesterday that a man approached his parked minibus across from Woody’s in Sandys and asked Lorenzo Stovell “what are you doing up here?” before shots rang out.

Mr Isaac said he saw Mr Stovell, whom he knew as “Wa Wa”, jump out of his seat and yell at him to go.

“He kind of hopped out of his seat and was yelling to go,” Mr Isaac said. “That was really when I started paying attention.

“As I looked at him to my left that is when I heard the gunshots. From what I remember I started the bus and got out of the situation as fast as I could.”

Mr Isaac told the court that he initially drove towards Dockyard before turning around and heading for Hamilton.

“I was travelling west and got as far as the rest home. I realised there was no help for me in that direction so I turned around and headed towards Hamilton. I was asking Wa Wa if he was OK, but he was not doing well at the time. He was struggling to breathe and making moaning noises.”

Mr Isaac called 911 to tell police there had been a shooting in his bus and drove to the Port Royal Fire Station where he said firefighters took control of the situation.

The jury has been told that Mr Stovell, who was 24 at the time and paralysed from the waist down due to a previous firearms incident, succumbed to his injuries.

Zikai Cann and Trevone Saltus are accused of murdering Mr Stovell on the evening of September 23, 2012.

Prosecutors say that Mr Cann and Mr Saltus were part of a group of men that descended on the bus before Mr Stovell was shot and killed.

A third defendant, Cordova Simons-Marshall, is alleged to have hidden the murder weapon after the shooting.

Under cross-examination from Mr Cann’s lawyer, Charles Richardson, Mr Isaac confirmed that in a police statement made at the time of the shooting he had said the man who had approached his bus had been dressed in dark clothing.

When questioned further by Mr Saltus’s lawyer, Marc Daniels, he agreed that in that statement he said he looked back in his side mirror when the man was speaking with Mr Stovell and he was one or two foot from the bus.

Earlier in the day Mr Stovell’s sister fought back tears as she described the events leading up to her brother’s murder.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that she had been on the party bus during the afternoon with her brother and other friends and family.

She said she had been with friends in Woody’s when someone told her that the bus had driven off.

“A friend came up to me and said something had happened at the bus, and that the bus had gone,” the woman added.

“After that I remember walking out to the roadside and the bus was not there.

“My friend tried calling the driver, then the bus came back across us from the direction of Dockyard. The bus did not stop.

“I went back towards where everyone was sitting and I told them that the driver had said my brother had been shot.”

The woman said that she had gone back to check on her brother twice while the party bus had been parked outside Woody’s.

“He was fine, on the last occasion he told me his legs were starting to hurt so he was ready to leave,” she added.

Yesterday, jurors also heard from Detective Constable Jewel Hayward, a crime scene investigator, who described how he photographed and forensically examined the minibus after the murder.

Dc Hayward told the court that he found bullet casings and bullet holes inside the vehicle as well as bloody spatter on the seats.

Mr Cann, 27, and Mr Saltus, 28, both deny murder and using a firearm to commit murder.

Mr Simons-Marshall, 26, denies handling a 9mm Smith and Wesson autoloading pistol and being an accessory after the murder by concealing the gun.

The trial continues.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.