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Woman’s ‘execution’ a new low

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The island's top police officer said he was disgusted that women were now gang targets after a woman was shot and killed.

Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley added that the 32-year-old woman died after a lone gunman shot her three times after a party where her godchildren had been present.

He said: “Those that have been in Bermuda far longer than I will know that for a woman to be murdered in such circumstances is off the scale, irrespective of the tragedy or any life lost.”

Mr Corbishley said the incident was an “execution”.

He added: “It should concern us when anybody's life is lost, but when somebody goes up and shoots a woman dead in a situation where, a short while before, children were present, I think is a major issue here that we've really got to start reflecting on.”

Mr Corbishley was speaking yesterday morning at Hamilton Police Station after officers responded to reports of gunshots in the Sunset Lane area of Pembroke at about 12.20am and found the woman on the ground outside a house.

The officers performed CPR until EMTs arrived and rushed her to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, but she later died of her injuries.

The incident was the second shooting death and the third murder of 2020.

Mr Corbishley said that the woman was targeted in what was believed to have been a gang-related attack but could not confirm if it was linked to any previous incidents.

He added that the woman's godchildren had left before the incident happened, but could not confirm if the woman lived at the house where she was shot.

Mr Corbishley said the attack was “abhorrent” and a “watershed” moment for the island.

He added: “Somebody damn well knows who did this and are sat on information that not only is stopping the Bermuda Police Service from bringing this person to justice — who quite clearly is dangerous, because if they're going to do this, they'll do it again and they've got no respect for life — and I just ask, for once, for certain parties to do the right thing and pick up a phone.

“It will allow us to work far quicker on behalf of the family and actually prevent further atrocities from happening again.”

Police said the gunman was about 5ft 7in tall, wearing dark clothes and riding a black and yellow motorcycle.

A 70-year-old woman resident of Sunset Lane, who asked not to be named, said that she was “heartbroken” when she learnt of the shooting.

She said that she had met the woman and her family, who lived in the area, and that the victim was a “good Christian woman”.

The woman added: “I've been in this area all my life and so has her grandmother, so I know her grandmother very well.

“All I could do was just give her my condolences.”

The woman said that the Sunset Lane area was a very quiet neighbourhood, despite the occasional incident.

But she admitted “these days, you should expect anything — anything can happen”.

David Burt, the Premier and MP for Pembroke West Central in the last administration, attended the scene and spoke to police. He said that he and Renée Ming, the Minister of National Security, also visited the family at the hospital. Mr Burt said: “I am shocked and saddened by the tragic events early this morning, combined with the tragic loss of life.

“I ask that the entire country to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers.”

Ms Ming said that the investigation was in its early stages and that police were “devoting the necessary resources” to bringing the killer to justice.

She added: “This was very distressing news to receive in the early hours of this morning.

“Life is precious, and it saddens me that a young woman's life was taken away in such a tragic circumstance. I wish to extend my sincerest condolences to the young woman's family and loved ones during this extremely difficult time.”

Craig Cannonier, the leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, said: “We have lost yet another precious life. Another fellow Bermudian. Someone's daughter, someone's friend.

“I am sure she was striving for a better future, yet lost her life in the most horrific way. It saddens me greatly that this is happening to my fellow Bermudians.”

Ben Smith, the shadow minister of national security, appealed to anyone with information on the “senseless murder” to contact the police.

He added: “I believe it is the first time that a woman has been murdered in this way and if this is finally not a wake-up call to Bermuda, then what is?”

Mr Smith said: “Bermudians are suffering economically, which is causing stress, there is an election which has stirred the emotions — this is adding another layer of anxiety.

“It must stop and I urge people to help the police catch whoever was responsible for this callous and cowardly act.”

Anyone with information on the incident should contact police at 295-0011 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-8477

On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on a story that we deem might inflame sensitivities or discontinue them when the discourse is lowered by commenters to unacceptable standards. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers

Somebody knows: Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police, appeals to the community to help catch killer (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Police officers attend the murder scene in the Sunset Lane area of Pembroke
Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police, speaks at a press conference today (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published September 30, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated September 30, 2020 at 9:04 am)

Woman’s ‘execution’ a new low

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