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Man was shot at in retaliation for going to police, court told

A man told the Supreme Court he believed he was the target of a shooting because he had made a police statement about a gang leader in the wake of his son’s murder.

Richard Steede said he recognised the gunman who took aim at him as Zachary Fox, whom he claimed was affiliated with the same gang.

Asked why he thought he was attacked, he said: “What I’m thinking is I went to police and made a statement in relation to my son, because they killed my son.”

However Elizabeth Christopher, counsel for Mr Fox, suggested that he never actually saw the gunman’s face and made it up to bolster his claim against someone he believed was linked to the gang leader.

Mr Steede said: “I did see his face. I don’t make up stories on people, so why would I do that?”

Mr Steede told the court that on November 28, 2019, he was working on Palmetto Road. At about 7.30pm, he said he set out for Belvin’s Variety on Happy Valley Road, Pembroke, to buy beer for himself and his colleagues.

Mr Steede said that when he reached the junction of Curving Avenue and Happy Valley Road, he noticed a friend and pulled to the side of the road to talk while he sat on his motorcycle.

After a few minutes of conversation, he noticed a motorcycle carrying two men and travelling west on Happy Valley abruptly turn around.

Mr Steede said: “It came up close to me and I saw the rider. I saw him bring up a gun.”

He told the court as soon as he saw the gun he tried to ride away, but struck a nearby wall as he heard a loud bang.

Mr Steede said: “I fell off my bike and I turned around to look at what was going on.

“I jumped off the ground and as I jumped up, the guy was still trying to shoot me.”

He told the court as he looked up, he saw the gunman had gotten off the back of the motorcycle and was standing about five or six feet away.

Mr Steede said while the attacker was wearing a helmet with a dark tinted visor, he was able to see the gunman’s face from below the visor for “three or four seconds”.

He said: “I got a glimpse of him. He had his head back and I recognised him. I saw him from his eyebrows down.

“It was Zachary Fox.”

Mr Steede said he had known Mr Fox for “probably about ten years” as he lived nearby and knew both of his parents.

He told the court that he ran down Curving Avenue and up a set of stairs leading to a nearby home, hearing someone shout: “Shoot him, shoot him.”

Mr Steede said: “As I was running up the steps I saw that the gate was locked. At that time I thought my life was over.

“I turned around and ran back down the steps and I bumped into the same guy that had the gun just below the steps.

“The second person was saying: ’Let’s go, let’s go.’”

He said the gunman then got on the back of the motorcycle and the pair sped away.

Mr Steede told the court that his son, Morlan Steede, was fatally shot on November 3, 2017.

He said he had gone to the police to make a statement about Jahkeil Samuels – who he said was the leader of a Pembroke gang – in relation to the murder, and that he believed Mr Fox was affiliated with the same gang.

Under cross examination, Mr Steede agreed that while he identified the gunman as Mr Fox in his interviews with police, he did not mention seeing his face until his third interview.

He told the court that he was still “in shock” during the first two interviews, and he did not realise he had seen the gunman’s face until he had an opportunity to relax.

Mr Steede said: “It just came to me. I was thinking about how the whole incident went down and I saw his face.”

Ms Christopher also challenged how well he knew Mr Fox.

While Mr Steede said he saw the defendant regularly, Ms Christopher suggested he had not seen Mr Fox regularly since the defendant was 13 – and that the defendant was out of Bermuda entirely between 2013 and May 2017.

Mr Fox, 22, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he attempted to murder Richard Steede on Happy Valley Road, Pembroke and that he used a firearm to commit the offence.

He has also denied an alternative charge that he shot at Richard Steede with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

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.