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Sir John’s ‘deep concern’ at shooting

Former Premier Sir John spoke of his “deep concern” after gunmen shot out the windows of his office building Seon Place at the weekend.

Two panes of glass at the flagship financial centre on Reid Street, Hamilton, were shattered when two men fired at a third man around 3.45am on Saturday. No one was reported injured.

Sir John said yesterday: “The chap was running away from the guys and somebody was after him with a gun. He ran across the street in front of the building to run down the lane that connects Front Street and Reid Street. In the process of shooting at him, two of the bullets hit the glass of the building.”

Sir John said the windows were double-glazed and the bullets only went through the outer pane. He added that it was too soon to know whether the numerous security cameras surrounding Seon Place caught the culprits on tape.

The incident was the latest in a spate of city gun incidents, including one in broad daylight on February 23 when two men on a motorcycle brandished a gun at another motorist outside Hamilton Police Station on Victoria Street.

Sir John said: “I'm concerned, and many people are concerned. These shootings all seem to be specific shootings rather than general shootings. However, Bermuda is a small community; we have 3,000 people per square mile versus the US where there are 60 per square mile. This [gun crime] has a tremendous impact on a community. It can unnerve a community very much and do damage to its social and economic conditions.

“I'm deeply concerned for the people that get affected by this, but I have every confidence that the police are doing the best they can.” Sir John said he was heartened by recent successful prosecutions of those involved in gun crime.

Seon Place was completed in 2010. It was the city's first ten storey building and provides 107,000 square feet of rentable office space for hundreds of people overlooking Hamilton Harbour. Sir John said the only repair costs would be for the two panes of glass.

In a statement early on Saturday in the aftermath of the attack, police spokesman Robin Simmons said: “At around 3.45am on March 24, police responded to reports of gunshots on the Reid Street extension in the City of Hamilton. Forensic evidence collected at the scene and damage to a building in the area confirmed a firearm was discharged; however, no one was injured.”

He added: “We believe the suspects to be two individuals on a motorcycle.”

Police were at the scene for approximately two hours.

Releasing further information and an appeal for witnesses yesterday, Mr Simmons added: “It appears that two persons on a dark coloured motorcycle wearing dark coloured helmets were travelling in a westerly direction on Cavendish Road before discharging several shots in the Reid Street, Spurling Hill area.

“The suspects then made a U-turn and travelled in an easterly direction down Spurling Hill. At the time of the shooting there were numerous patrons attending and leaving a nightclub in the area who may have witnessed the incident.”

He said today: "Officers investigating the incident have recovered a motorcycle and other items that they believe were used in this crime. Forensic testing of these items has been conducted as detectives pursue lines of enquiry regarding the perpetrators, in order to bring them to justice."

Wendell “Shine” Hayward runs a music club some distance down the street from where the gunshots were fired. He stressed the incident had nothing to do with his premises, and said he did not realise what happened until he saw police officers.

“I came outside for some fresh air and asked what was going on,” he told

The Royal Gazette. “I saw nothing and heard nothing. The police came in and an officer asked me if everything was OK.”

The police appealed for any club patrons, motorists or pedestrians who were in the area at the time, or anyone with information, to call the Serious Crime Unit on 247-1365 or the Crimestoppers hotline on 800-8477.

Seon Place suffered broken windows from stray bullets during a city centre shooting this weekend. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published March 26, 2012 at 9:00 am (Updated March 26, 2012 at 9:56 am)

Sir John’s ‘deep concern’ at shooting

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