Children scared to leave homes after murder
Some children are too scared to leave their homes in the wake of the murder of Morlan Steede 12 days ago.
Community activist Gina Spence told The Royal Gazette that some children had returned to school after the fatal shooting, but ended up returning home early because of the trauma they had witnessed.
Ms Spence, who is part of the Community Crisis Response Team, which provides help to families in the aftermath of shootings, said her own Champions Programme had been providing support to the four-year-old daughter of Mr Steede.
She said: “This particular murder was played out in public, which takes the community impact to a new level of fear and confusion.
“Very rarely does anyone get to see someone take their last breath, but in this case people were in the street.”
Ms Spence joined Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, to visit families in the Deepdale area on the night of the shooting and in the following days.
She said: “The day after the shooting there were children who were afraid to go out into the street again and people were scared.
“A few of them did go back to school on the Monday, but some could not finish the day. It was just too traumatic.
“A lot of parents don't know what to do in these kind of circumstances, so we help provide advice on what children need in the aftermath of a traumatic event like this.
“We have been in the Deepdale area every day since this shooting to support those affected.
“It's difficult for them because this shooting happened in their space, and there are constant reminders.”
Mr Steede, originally from Jamaica, was shot several times as he was chased through the back streets of Pembroke by a lone gunman on the evening of Friday, November 3.
The 30-year-old, known to friends as “Clappa”, ran along Two-Way Deepdale before he collapsed in the middle of Parson's Road.
Two men were arrested in connection with Mr Steede's murder and detectives have confirmed they are looking at the possibility that the killing was related to a drugs feud.
Both men have since been released on police bail.
Ms Spence said. “By going back into the community we got a very clear idea of the impact this murder had on the Deepdale community, but also the children in the area.
“Some of these children witnessed the incident and everyone in that neighbourhood heard the four gunshots.
“It's a close community down there and they really felt the impact of this shooting. For some it happened on their doorstep.”
She added: “We have received a very positive response on the doorsteps. People appreciated the support we have tried to provide and invited us in.
“Bermuda has come a long way in the last eight or nine years in terms of the support families and children are given in the aftermath of a shooting.
“Intervention and support in the first 48 hours for children is paramount to address that trauma and agencies are working hard to provide that support.
“There has been so much growth in this area and Bermuda has repositioned itself.”