Policewoman sobs as she describes finding her cousin after shooting – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Policewoman sobs as she describes finding her cousin after shooting

A policewoman sobbed as she described witnessing the aftermath of a fatal shooting, then realising her cousin Kumi Harford was the victim.

Melesia Iris, 27, an authorised firearms officer, was off duty the night Mr Harford, 30, was murdered on St Monica's Road, Pembroke.

Antonio Myers, 25, is on trial at Supreme Court accused of killing Mr Harford, who was shot multiple times as he sat in his car. In emotional witness testimony yesterday, Ms Iris explained she lives on Chapel Lane, across from St Monica's Road.

She was awoken around 5am by the loud noise of a gunshot from the Mission Lane area, followed by four more. She explained she could tell from the noise that it was a semi-automatic weapon.

She then heard a car racing from the St Monica's area in a northerly direction down Glebe Road. When it came into view around ten to 15 feet from her, she noticed it was a CRV or Jeep-type car in a “light metallic colour”.

Ms Iris could not see the number plate, which was not illuminated, and could not see anyone in the car, which turned right onto Roberts Avenue. She then described hearing a female scream and running outside, at which point she realised the scream came from a female cousin of hers.

At this point, Ms Iris broke down in tears before continuing: “I knew that the person who got shot had to have been my relative.”

Next she saw her cousin Kumi Harford's distinctive bright blue Mazda 323 car wedged across the road. A picture of this was shown to her in court, causing her to break down in loud sobs.

“I ran over to the car to see who was in it,” continued Ms Iris after a pause. “I saw my cousin Kumi. He was in the driver's seat, hunched over.”

She called out to him and got no response, before helping load him into a car to take him to the hospital. “I checked to see if he had a pulse, but it was faint,” she explained.

Another witness, Dawn Brown, from St Monica's Road had her police statement read into evidence. This described how she was awoken by noise of the incident, then saw the victim's brother, Jakai Harford in the street.

Jakai helped bystanders to load his injured brother into Ms Brown's car, and their mother Valita also got in.

Kumi Harford was pronounced dead at 5.27am after arriving at the hospital.

In other evidence, the eight women and four men of the jury were shown gory pictures of the scene and bullet-riddled victim by crime scene investigator Detective Constable Peter Thompson.

A total of 12 spent bullet cases plus two bullets were discovered and photographed at the scene, plus severe damage to Mr Harford's car. Det Con Thompson said of the shots that hit the victim's car: “Some came from the front left [of the vehicle] and some came from the rear right.”

Further pictures of the victim at the mortuary showed wounds to his shoulder, hand, forehead and back and also three bullet heads recovered from the wounds. Shell casings found at the shooting scene were swabbed for gunshot residue and DNA and sent overseas for expert analysis.

Fingerprints were also taken from Mr Harford's car. None of them matched fingerprints taken from Mr Myers, according to Det Con Thompson.

Mr Myers denies murder and using a firearm to commit murder and the case continues.

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Published March 17, 2011 at 10:09 am (Updated March 17, 2011 at 10:08 am)

Policewoman sobs as she describes finding her cousin after shooting

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