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Pool table saved him from dying — witness

The scene at Wednesday night’s shooting

An eyewitness to Wednesday night’s shooting has described the “Hollywood-like” scenes that unfolded at Hamilton Parish Workman’s Club.

A 28-year-old man is in intensive care in hospital after being shot several times at about 9.50pm, according to police. He remains in a stable condition at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

The incident echoed a similar shooting on January 3, 2010, when 34-year-old Perry Puckerin was killed inside the venue.

The eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: “I was at the bar when I heard the gunfire outside; it sounded like fireworks.”

He added that the gunman appeared from the back side of the club and approached a crowd congregated outside.

Several bullets hit the wall and one smashed a window, while the victim sustained several gunshot wounds to his shoulder and back as he ran into the bar.

The eyewitness said the gunman followed the victim inside and then stood over him as he lay on the ground and attempted to shoot him again.

However, the victim managed to crawl underneath the pool table, which blocked the gunfire. “The pool table saved him from dying,” the eyewitness said. “It was some Hollywood stuff.

“Everybody was trying to get out of here; we all ran into the bathroom.”

Once the shooter had left the scene, the patrons came back into the bar and dragged the victim out from under the pool table. He was then put in a car and rushed to hospital before the police and ambulance could arrive.

“It’s senseless; the whole community is in shock,” the eyewitness said.

“It never used to be like this. We’ve lost our standards, and Bermuda has become Americanised with the gang culture.”

Local politicians condemned the shooting yesterday, with Hamilton Parish East MP Derrick Burgess calling on the Bermuda Government to invest in security cameras at clubs throughout the island.

“That would help us to police these areas,” he said. “When people know there are cameras around, they act differently.

“I am shocked that this behaviour continues, especially in my parish. I feel sorry for everyone involved, particularly the family of the victim.”

Hamilton West MP Wayne Furbert said: “This is very sad because Hamilton Parish is an extremely peaceful area.

“It is even more disturbing given the amount of work the club does in the community, especially the development of young people in soccer.

“I am sure this incident has upset the whole neighbourhood and I pray that they can find some peace and tranquility at this time.”

Pastor Leroy Bean, of the anti-gang group Cartel, added: “Every person requires social intimacy, and the clubs are where our young people go for that.

“But the clubs have to tighten up — there are no boundaries.”

It is believed CCTV cameras are installed at the club but were broken at the time of the incident.

Police have urged anyone with information on the incident to contact Acting Inspector Jason Smith on 717-0864.