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Police: where is the outrage over murder?

Detective Superintendent Nicholas Pedro (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Police investigating the murder of an innocent man apparently targeted in a gang-linked shooting have expressed concern at the “numbness” of the public to recent gun violence.

Detective Superintendent Nicholas Pedro said yesterday police were making headway on the shooting of Jordan Outerbridge, 37, attacked on Tuesday night as he headed home from a regular social event with friends.

Mr Pedro told The Royal Gazette: “I want to know where the outrage is.

“We have some people quick to demonstrate and get upset on many issues – but our concern is the community is getting numb to continued murders.”

Mr Pedro said the “malaise in the community” included the gun attack of March 30 near the centre of St George's on a 22-year-old man injured after he was set upon in the Somers Garden park.

“If we allow this mentality to become the norm, it allows people not to feel the need to step up and do the right thing,” Mr Pedro said.

“We will lose our ability to convict for these crimes if people lose outrage – that’s my concern.”

Mr Outerbridge was shot several times near the junction of Ord Road and Tribe Road No. 2 as he left a card game at about 10.30pm.

Mr Pedro said: “We understand it’s a regular card game that rotates between different friends’ houses.

“This particular night was at this location. We don’t know how his attackers would have known to go there.”

Police have called the attack gang-related but said Mr Outerbridge was not the intended target.

“When a seemingly innocent man can lose his life and there is no collective community response, I think we are in a very concerning place,” Mr Pedro said.

“I recognise Covid fatigue – but this should be a shock to people.

“The family of Mr Outerbridge have lost a husband and father. There is a one-year-old girl and his little stepdaughter growing up without a father. They will have to learn at some point that he was killed by mistake.

“It’s not your type of situation where someone has taken a decision to engage in gang behaviour with the knowledge that it could come back. This is a man who went to play cards with friends.”

Mr Pedro said police had gained “a clearer picture of what happened” since Friday – including the route taken by Mr Outerbridge’s assailants as they fled the scene.

But he cautioned that further details cannot be divulged.

“We are progressing with good lines of inquiry, but we really need people to step up.

“There are people out there who know who has guns, know where they keep them, and give them shelter.”

Mr Pedro said the description of the two suspects had not changed: a gunman in a blue-hooded jacket fired several shots and jumped on the back of a waiting motorcycle.

The rider wore dark clothing, and both wore dark helmets.

Mr Pedro said a “full complement of armed patrols” was about on the island, especially in areas of concern.

He added: “Currently the biggest risk for retaliation is in the Warwick area, but our challenge is that it’s not locations that are targeted – it’s people, and people move around.

“The constantly challenge for us is that is someone goes into town and they are seen, people might take an opportunity to get retribution.”

Mr Pedro said it had been too long since he had seen “real outrage” at the targeting of an innocent man, citing the murder of George Lynch in 2010.

Mr Lynch, a married father of three, was shot dead in Hamilton Parish while visiting a friend.

“We constantly have to try and generate support and interest from the public to help us get justice,” Mr Pedro said.

“People are seemingly more nonchalant.

“I think there’s a sense among the public when it’s someone in a gang that when you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

“But when an innocent man can lose this life, what does that say about us as a community?”