Politicians united in condemning gun murder
Politicians have expressed their outrage over the latest gun murder in Bermuda.Michael Phillips, 42, was shot dead at the Mid-Atlantic Boat Club in Devonshire on Sunday night.Yesterday, Walter Roban, the MP for Pembroke East, where the crime happened, said: “I wish to express my horror and sadness upon hearing of the tragic shooting at the Mid-Atlantic Boat Club. This area has seen one too many of these incidences and I am concerned about the well being of the residents who live not far from the club grounds. This club has had a long admirable history and it is so unfortunate that its members and patrons are suffering through situations like this too often.”Last month, a 29-year-old man suffered what were described as “superficial injuries” in a firearms incident at the same club, while in 2010, Julian Washington was shot in the club’s parking lot.Mr Roban, of the Progressive Labour Party, said: “Anyone who has information that will be helpful to the authorities should come forward to assist. My sympathies go out to the family of the victim and the members, patrons and officials of the Mid Atlantic Boat Club.”A Progressive Labour Party spokesman said: “We, as a community, must not stand for this. It’s going to take all of us doing our part to bring crime under control. The Progressive Labour Party extends our deepest sympathies to the family of the victim.”Leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, Craig Cannonier, said: “I send my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of our most recent murder victim. Bermuda, this has to stop. This is not the norm and we can’t let it become the norm. This isn’t about the OBA or PLP, this is about human life. We as a community need to come together and rid ourselves of the violence. If you know something, anything, please speak up. You could be saving a life, even your own. I urge you to do the right thing, for you, your family, your community.”Anthony Francis, who is standing for election against Mr Roban in Pembroke East, said: “I am very, very sad about the death of Mr Phillips. I send my prayers and condolences to his family and friends. Sunday’s shooting murder is a horror that can have no place in the future of Bermuda. We must find ways to move forward together.”Mr Francis added: "Part of the answer lies in engaging and bringing together our families and communities and our leaders. I would suggest a ‘Meet Your Neighbour Day’ when church, sport and political leaders across the Island walk their neighbourhoods together in a show of unity.“We have to condemn these killings, not just send condolences. But at the same time, we have to tell our young black men that they are the future of this Island and that much rests on their shoulders, from opportunity to responsibility.”–He called for neighbourhood watches in every community, and for residents to get to know the members of their police Community Action Teams.Minister of National Security Wayne Perinchief said: “In these tragic circumstances our first thoughts inevitably extend to grieving family and friends. Our prayers are for the comfort of Mr Phillips’ family as they attempt to come to terms with this terrible loss. Witnesses to yesterday’s awful events or anyone with information about Mr Phillips’ last movements on Sunday should contact the Police.”Governor George Fergusson said: “I am shocked — again — by a brutal crime which has taken away a man from his family and friends. I feel desperately sad for those who have now been bereaved and pray that they feel strength and support. The reasons for this crime are not yet known.”Charles Swan offered condolences on behalf of himself and Kim Swan. Both MPs were elected under the United Bermuda Party banner.He said: “We are deeply saddened to hear that another of our young men has been gunned down. Indeed, the entire Bermudian community continues to reel from the effects of these acts of violence. It would appear that numerous persons were in the area and /or in the building. We trust that anyone who has information pertaining to this incident will see fit to call the authorities.”All those who spoke urged people with information that could assist the investigation to contact police. Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 800-8477, the Serious Crime Unit on 247-1739 or any police station on 295-0011.