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Police plea over videos, Weeks condemns ‘senseless’ violence

Regret: Michael Weeks, the Minister of National Security (File photograph)

Residents were asked by the Bermuda Police Service not to share “extremely graphic” content related to a fatal stabbing that happened yesterday at Horseshoe Bay Beach.

A call was made for anyone with footage or photographs from the incident to instead send them to police as soon as possible.

It came after Michael Weeks, the Minister of National Security, expressed his concern and regret in the wake of two knife attacks that happened on the Bermuda Day holiday.

He said that the day should have been one of celebration — but was instead marred by “unacceptable violence”.

Police said that a man was stabbed in the head on Front Street in what was described as a domestic incident.

A separate knife attack happened at Horseshoe Bay at about 3.15pm. A 20-year-old man received multiple injuries in the attack and, despite the efforts of on-duty lifeguards, died later in hospital.

Police said that a 17-year-old male was arrested in relation to the incident.

Mr Weeks said: “On what should have been a joyous day of national celebration, our community was shaken by two senseless acts of violence, which I condemn.

“My profound sympathies go out to the family and friends of the young man who tragically lost his life at Horseshoe Bay Beach.

“We also extend our thoughts and prayers to the individual injured on Front Street and wish him a swift recovery.”

The minister added: “Such violence is utterly unacceptable in our society. We must urgently address the root causes of why our young men and women are increasingly involved in such violent incidents.

“It is imperative that we work together to provide them with better opportunities and support systems.

“I commend the Bermuda Police Service for their ongoing efforts to investigate these incidents.

“I urge anyone who witnessed these events or has any information to speak up and assist the police.

“The Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-8477 provides a confidential and anonymous way to share information. Your co-operation is crucial in bringing those responsible to justice and preventing further violence.”

Mr Weeks said: “I will continue to state that our continued security and peace is not dependent upon the police alone, but the willingness of ordinary members of the public to speak up and say something if they witness something.

“I want to acknowledge the dedicated efforts of all those in our uniformed and emergency services, including our lifeguards who worked yesterday and who continue to work over the holiday weekend to keep us safe and secure.

“I am urging Bermuda to please continue to keep safety in mind this weekend.”

David Burt, the Premier, said in a tweet posted last night: “Saddened to learn that today's celebrations were ruined by the loss of a young life to senseless violence. Prayers up for the family. Incredibly tragic.”

The BPS said it was aware of several videos in circulation that related to the fatal stabbing at the beach.

It added: “The nature of these videos is extremely graphic and the sharing of them on social media will no doubt be upsetting to the loved ones of the victim.

“Videos and images recorded at crime scenes are also considered crucial evidence in an investigation.

“The sharing of such evidence could be detrimental to potential court cases.

“Rather than sharing these videos and images with friends or through social media, we want to encourage members of the community to send them to police instead and at the earliest opportunity.

“If you have received videos or images of this latest incident, we are urging you not to share them and to delete them from your devices.”

Police said they wanted to speak to anyone who was at Horseshoe Bay Beach at about 3.15pm on May 24 “and recorded images or video of an altercation involving several males”.

Those witnesses were asked to contact Acting Detective Inspector Anneka Donawa on 717-2250 or at adonawa@bps.bm.

The BPS added: “You can also contact a police officer that you know.”

UPDATE: this article has been updated with an appeal from the Bermuda Police Service