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‘To know Osagi was to love him’ - heartbroken parents pay tribute to murdered son

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Murder victim Osagi Bascome, 23.

The heartbroken parents of Osagi Bascome tonight paid tribute to their murdered son who died after being stabbed on Saturday.

Carla and Herbie Bascome said that “fearless” was the first word that came to mind at the thought of their son.

“He was love personified — to know Osagi was to love him. He was a beautiful son, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew, boyfriend and friend,” they said in a statement.

“He put his heart into everything he loved. He loved his family, friends and he loved football.

“From a toddler, his daddy always told him that he is the King, and what a blessing he has been to our entire family. We miss Osagi so much and he will live on in us and through us.”

The family added: “Osagi’s death will not be in vain.

“This violent act is difficult to process because he had so much love in his heart.

“Osagi would want us to love harder and live life every day and that is giving us strength to carry on.”

The family statement came after police named the Bermuda national team footballer as the 23-year-old man murdered outside a venue in St David’s.

It is believed that Mr Bascome was stabbed multiple times during an altercation outside Fun Zone.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Stableford said yesterday: “At 3.47am police received a 911 call from the hospital about a 23-year-old male brought in by persons unknown with serious stab wounds.

“A few minutes later, he was pronounced dead by the emergency doctor.”

Tributes flow for slain footballer – Sport

Speaking at a press conference at Fun Zone, he added: “It was later established that an incident took place here, outside Fun Zone in St David’s, where a party was being held and we believe an altercation occurred that led to Osagi’s death.

“At present we need to hear from anyone who was at the party, but right now persons who were here are not talking to us.

“We know that people saw what happened and I would urge them to do the right thing by Osagi and tell us.”

Mr Stableford stressed: “Nobody that was here last night has talked to us.”

He said that risk assessments will be carried out in case of any potential retaliatory attacks.

Mr Stableford added that early indications suggested the stabbing was not gang-related.

Acting Commissioner of Police Darrin Simons said yesterday: “It’s both appalling and tragic that a family and a community woke up this morning to the senseless loss of life of another man.”

Police seal off the road by the Fun Zone this morning. (Photograph Jeremy Deacon)

He added: “We know the tragic events of this morning didn’t happen in isolation.

“There were several people in attendance at this function. People saw what happened but they didn’t call the police.

“Tragically they didn’t call 911. They went directly to the hospital — and the reality is, not another 300ft up the road there is advanced life support that would have been available.” The airport fire service is based near by.

Mr Simons said: “This young man was brutally taken away from his family at a time of year when most of us are preparing for celebrations.

“But instead this family will be preparing for laying their son to rest.

“The reality is, silence means consent. Silence means you don’t care enough to make a difference. Silence means you’re kind of OK with what has happened, that you’re OK with the senseless violence that continues to claim the lives of many young Black men.”

He asked witnesses to think of Mr Bascome’s family.

Mr Simons said: “What would you want to have done? Would your silence be acceptable then?”

The acting commissioner said that detectives were “working tirelessly” on the investigation and police patrols will be increased.

But he added: “We can’t do it alone. We need your help. We need the community’s help.”

Renée Ming, the Minister of National Security and MP for St George’s North, said that parish residents and the rest of the island were shocked at the news.

She added: “This death hits home as I knew the young man well.

“I grieve with the family, who are my constituents, my neighbours, my friends.”

Ms Ming said: “I condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms.”

She highlighted that the Bermuda Police Service can help to bring justice “if those in our community share what they know”.

The minister said yesterday: “I appeal to those who attended the function last night to speak up, to say something.

“Help this family to get the justice that they deserve.”

The One Bermuda Alliance sent “deepest condolences” to the Bascome family. Michael Dunkley, the Acting Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for National Security, said: “It is very sad and disturbing that yet another violent and senseless death has rocked our community, especially as we prepare for the holiday season.”

He said that the OBA supported the call for anyone with information to come forward.

“There are those in the community who protect the guilty instead of helping the victim's family and friends.

“This must stop. Enough is enough.”

Mr Dunkley said that Mr Bascome was “well known and well loved”.

“He did not deserve to have his life cut short during the best years of his life.”

He added: “This scourge of violence among young Black men must stop. This is not the Bermuda that we love."

Elizabeth Harvey, the OBA’s approved candidate for St George’s South, said: “Residents of St David’s are shocked and saddened that such a violent crime took place in what is normally a quiet and peaceful commercial park of small businesses frequented by families”.

Ms Harvey said that more work was needed to keep knives and firearms away from social events.

Mr Bascome played football for Bermuda as well as clubs including St George’s Colts and Darlington FC in England.

People with footage from the party were asked to share it with police or upload it here.

Anyone with information can contact Mr Stableford on 717-2286.

Alternatively, people can call 211 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477.