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Police to protect witnesses to stabbing

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Slogans have been prayed outside White Hill Field in memory of Johnathan Darrell. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Potential witnesses were yesterday assured that they will receive protection from Police if they come forward to help catch the killer of 27-year-old Johnathan Darrell.

That was the message from the Bermuda Police Service after a press conference in relation to Mr Darrell, who was fatally stabbed in the early hours of Saturday morning in the Rural Hill Plaza, Paget.

Police said that between 50 and 60 members of the public were congregated in the area when the incident took place.

Superintendent Sean Field-Lament told The Royal Gazette: “We have spoken to witnesses and we are appealing for more. I do believe that people will come forward. If people have fears that they will be identified, we can treat witnesses confidentially and there are confidential hotlines that they can use.

“What I would suggest is that people come to us before we come to them. There is a considerable amount of CCTV footage — if you were there you should come forward and say ‘I was here and this is what I said heard and did’ otherwise we are going to have to come to you.”

Police revealed that several men were brandishing bottles, helmets and other projectiles during an “all-out brawl” and that some were capturing footage of the incident on cellphones and other electronic devices.

Acting Detective Inspector Jason Smith added: “We are pursuing several lines of inquiry as a result of CCTV that has been seized from this area and again we are appealing for others who were in the parking area who were themselves filming or even audio recording that we need to hear from you. We do have measures in place to protect and safeguard against the identity of persons who may want to come forward to assist us.”

Three people were arrested in relation to the incident that occurred at 4.15am on Saturday morning but they were subsequently bailed.

Mr Field-Lament added: “If you know something, say something. We need to speak to you, we need to hear from you. You have to be bold, you have to step forward and we have to put a stop to this violence.

“Already officers are following up on some promising lines of inquiry. We know there were numerous witnesses to this senseless crime. It is incumbent on those who have information to step forward and provide it to the police. It is up to us as a community to step forward and put an end to this type of antisocial behaviour.”

The BPS said there was no evidence that the incident was gang-related and that Mr Darrell was not known to the police. Officers also said there was “absolutely no suggestion” that gunplay was involved.

A family liaison officer has been assigned to the family to assist them through this difficult process.

• Anyone with any information should contact Mr Smith on 247-1218 or the Confidential Crime Unit on 800-8477.

Rural Hill Plaza. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Detective Superintendent Inspector Sean Field-Lament and Sergeant Jason Smith held a press conference yesterday at Rural Hill Plaza, asking members of the public for their assistance in the Johnathan Darrell murder. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Slogans have been prayed outside White Hill Field in memory of Johnathan Darrell. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)