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Accused claims he was at home at time of shooting

A man accused of attempted murder admitted that he was a gang member, but said he had nothing to do with a shooting on Happy Valley Road.

Zachary Fox, 22, told the Supreme Court: “I’m not a killer. I sell drugs.”

He told the court that on the night that someone opened fire on Richard Steede near the junction of Happy Valley Road and Curving Avenue, he was at home relaxing in his room.

Asked directly if he had shot at Mr Steede, he said: “No, I didn’t.”

Mr Fox has denied a charge that he attempted to murder Mr Steede on the evening of November 28, 2019.

He has also denied using a firearm to commit an indictable offence and shooting at Mr Steede with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Mr Steede said last week he believed he was targeted because after the death of his son, he had made a police statement against Jahkiel Samuels, who he said was the leader of a Pembroke gang.

He told the court that he recognised his attacker at Mr Fox, who he said was a member of the same gang.

Taking the stand in his defence yesterday, Mr Fox acknowledged that he had gotten into trouble when he was younger after the murder of his brother, Rico Furbert.

He said that he was sent overseas by the Department of Child and Family Services to treatment facilities in Utah and Tennessee and spent “about four years” overseas and earned his GED before he returned to the island in 2017.

Mr Fox said: “Child and Family Services told me they would help me whenever I got back to Bermuda, but they did not.”

He told the court he held a job for almost a year when he got back to Bermuda but he began to fall back into bad habits and found himself unemployed again.

Mr Fox said: “I had no income for myself so I resorted to what everybody around me did and that was selling drugs.”

He said that on November 28, 2019, the day of the shooting, he spent the day selling drugs on Court Street, smoking cannabis and drinking.

Mr Fox said he returned home at about 7.30pm and went to his room.

He said: “I was feeling nice. The first thing I did was roll up a spliff. I laid off, put the TV on and cooled out.”

Mr Fox said at about 9pm his grandmother called him out of his room to speak to his brother, Clarke, who lived in New York.

He then went back to his room, where he stayed until he received a call from his mother.

Mr Fox said he then went outside, where he was arrested by waiting officers.

He said: “They told me to walk out slowly with my hands up. When I got outside, they told me to turn around and walk backwards slowly.

“They told me to drop to my knees, they pushed me forward onto the ground and took each of my hands and put them behind my back and hand cuffed me.”

Mr Fox told the court that he himself had been the target of gunmen in the past.

He said that he was asleep in his bedroom on October 22, 2018 when someone fired multiple shots into his bedroom through the window.

While he was not injured, bullets struck a set of wooden drawers in the room and tore through a can of bug spray.

Mr Fox said bullets also passed through a wall and into the living room, punching holes in the home’s front door and a picture of Jesus.

He said: “I believe it was 13 or so bullets that were shot into my room.

“All I could do was to stay still and hug the wall.”

He said in February 2020 he was targeted while in his bedroom again and was shot in the shoulder.

Mr Fox said after the incident, his brother Clarke returned to the island from New York – and a month later Clarke was fatally shot.

He said that since he was shot he had stopped hanging around Court Street.

Mr Fox added: “I want better for myself.”

The trial continues.