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Gunman fired at police and innocent bystanders

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Residents in Pembroke yesterday said they feared for their children's safety after a gunshot was fired into a crowd of people in broad daylight.

And Assistant Police Commissioner, Paul Wright, described the weekend's spree of gun activity as “callous and cowardly” acts.

The violence began on Friday around 10.20pm when shots were heard at the junction of Laffan Street and Cedar Avenue in Pembroke.

Ninety minutes later a 16-year-old resident was shot multiple times while sitting outside Rambling Lane in Pembroke with a group of youths.

The teenager was yesterday said to be in the Intensive Care Unit in stable condition at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

The third incident took place on Saturday afternoon at 1.30pm when a gunshot appears to have been fired in the direction of police officers, residents and some children on Rambling Lane.

Mr Wright said of that incident: “Several police officers dressed in plainclothes were still at that location in company with other local residents including some children when they heard the sound of a gun shot.

“A single bullet head was recovered very close to where the group were standing and it appears this group was fired upon.”

He said the incident had left everybody shaken, including the police officers, and had “placed everybody in mortal danger”.

Pembroke East Central MP Ashfield DeVent said residents were worried the spate of violence was damaging an otherwise good community.

“It's once again extremely unfortunate that there are some person or persons who are using violence and guns indiscriminately. It's extremely unfortunate that another young person seems to have been injured.

“I have had quite a number of calls from area residents that are quite concerned about what is going on, which is destroying a good neighbourhood.

“Quite a few people are concerned about the safety of their children, people are concerned about the value of their property.”

Mr DeVent said if these senseless acts of violence continued “it is only a matter of time before some young and completely innocent child may be injured or worse”.

“All I can do is once again appeal to anyone with any information to contact the police or CrimeStoppers and remain anonymous to assist the police in any way possible.”

Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva, who spoke at a police press conference yesterday, said the community should be outraged with all three incidents, but in particular the one on Saturday afternoon.

“Our telephones, as a result, and those at CrimeStoppers should be ringing off the hook now as concerned citizens phone in any information, however small they may think it is, that may help the police recover guns and take these reckless and dangerous gunmen off the street for a long time.”

He continued: “The Police Service will relentlessly pursue all serious crime investigations in an effort to identify and arrest those people responsible and prevent any escalation of gun violence and retaliation attacks.

“In these times of budget constraints I can assure you that all possible police resources are sharply aimed at gun and gang crime.”

He also commended the bravery of those officers who are working hard on a daily basis to help make Bermuda safer.

Police are looking for two men who may have been the intended targets of shots fired at the junction of Laffan Street and Cedar Avenue. They were seen leaving the area around the time, on orange-coloured Yamaha motorcycles.

Officers say the suspected gunman in the second incident is believed to have been wearing a white T-shirt, a dark-coloured hooded top, a woollen cap and gloves.

The suspect may have arrived on the scene as a pillion passenger on a motorcycle driven by a man dressed all in black.

Anyone with information is asked to call 295-0011, or the independent CrimeStoppers hotline on 800-8477.

Assistant Police Commissioner, Paul Wright and Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva speak to the media during a press conference at police headquaters after a weekend of violence.

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Published March 29, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated March 29, 2011 at 10:13 am)

Gunman fired at police and innocent bystanders

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