Police arrest 21-year-old over double murder
A 21-year-old man was this evening arrested in connection with a double murder.
Haile Outerbridge and Rico Furbert were this afternoon named as the men shot dead at Belvin's grocery last night.
And police released dramatic pictures of a lone gunman, as he fired into the Happy Valley Road, Pembroke store around 9pm.
An investigation into the “premeditated murder” of Mr Outerbridge, 34, and Mr Furbert, 25, is now underway.
Said Detective Chief Inspector Nicholas Pedro at a press conference at the murder site this afternoon: “I can formally confirm that both men succumbed to their injuries as indicated last night by Superintendent Field-Lament.”
He extended his condolences to the families of the two Pembroke residents.
Det Ch Insp Pedro said that officers were called to the scene of the shooting around 9pm.
“The two men were found at the rear of the premises suffering from what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds. First Aid was administered to the men, and EMTs from the hospital also attended and took the men under their care and to [King Edward VII Memorial Hospital].
“Both men succumbed to their injuries.”
Officers are now anxious to speak with anyone in the Curving Avenue/Happy Valley Road area between 8.50pm and 9.10pm last night who saw a group of men travelling on between two and three motorcycles.
Continued Det Ch Insp Pedro: “These men would have travelled from Curving Avenue onto Happy Valley Road, and following the shooting at about 9:04pm, they travelled east along Happy Valley Road in the direction of Shelton Road, Deepdale, or Montpelier Road.
“One of the men in the convoy of three bikes is known to have chased one of the victims into the store. The gunman is wearing a full-face black crash helmet with a tinted visor, and a full-length blue rain suit.
“Someone in the community knows the identity of this gunman. This gunman came home to a family member, friend or other relative.
There are people in the community who are harbouring these murderers, enabling this activity, and know who they are.
“I am appealing to anyone in the community that believes that this senseless killing must stop to come forward immediately and assist the Police to bring these killers to justice."
Earlier today, Belvins' manager Shawnette Smith described the victims as "nice people, just regular customers".
She said the store was a victim of circumstances in the Island's ongoing spree of gun crime.
"Right now we'd like to respect the police's wishes and the privacy of the families," said Ms Smith, standing with other staff outside the closed business.
She described the two murder victims as men who were "in the store, buying what they needed to buy - nice people, just regular customers".
Ms Smith: "It's sad for both their families, and I believe they had children. We feel for their families and will give them privacy at this time."
Nonetheless, she added, they hope to open for business again later today.
The employee and security guard who were present in the shop at the time of last night's double shooting are "not harmed - they're all right", Ms Smith said, praising them for "acting professionally and doing what they needed to do".
"It's like any other shop. It can happen anywhere - we can't say why. If they're going to get you, they're going to get you. "
Speaking from the scene last night, Superintendent Sean Field Lament said: “Shortly after 9pm, police received information regarding a firearms incident at Belvin's Variety store on Happy Valley Road. Upon arrival, police discovered two injured parties inside the store. They were conveyed to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital where shortly thereafter, they were pronounced dead.”
Supt Field Lament described the men as “young” but said he could not provide their ages or names last night. More information is due to be given at a police press conference today.
The incident was the first fatal shooting of 2013. It also marked the first double murder since the outbreak of gun violence that began plaguing Bermuda in May 2009.
Many of the incidents have been gang related, but Supt Field Lament declined to comment on whether there was a gang connection in the latest case.
Governor George Fergusson said: "Last night's murders are appalling. I am thinking of the anguish of these young men's families and of the complete futility of this cruelty.
"This is a time for those close to people involved in gangs to take brave steps to help the police protect our society. I would ask them to do all they can to discourage retaliation. And everyone who knows anything about these murders needs to provide information straight away to the police or in confidence to Crimestoppers."
Speaking this morning, Junior Public Safety Minister Jeff Baron said: "Right now we know that two men were killed inside Belvin's. This whole community is completely rattled.
"I have met quite a few people this morning. I canvassed here before the election. Today I'm here under tragic circumstances which unfortunately where we find ourselves. We're getting updates from police, and as a government we are looking forward to implementing the most forward leaning policies to disrupt gang activity."
A female employee was in the store last night at the time of the double shooting, which took place around 9pm yesterday.
The Serious Crime Unit can be contacted on 247-1739 & 247-1340 or on the CONFIDENTIAL & independent CRIMESTOPPERS hotline 800-8477 (TIPS).
"First I offer to the affected families my personal sincere and profound condolences and that of the Progressive Labour Party family as well.
The tragic murder of two young men at Belvin's has to drive Bermuda's own debate on gun control, the pain of loss to families, and the issue of weapons deployment in our communities with fatal consequences are as painful and destabilising as we see elsewhere.
Many citizens feel we have already descended to the horror of violence seen in other communities. Whatever the true position, we must as a country act - act to support the police and security forces, and act to prevent gun and ammunition importations. I know that in asking the public to give information also puts you at risk; however, if we stand together we can and must make our communities safe again.
And while the police must receive public support, they too, from the top Leadership to the lower ranks must be held accountable to prevent gun murders, not just apprehend the perpetrators; a matter that is often the easier part in a community of our size.
The urgent agenda is halting gun deaths and escalation of violence and the destabilization of Bermuda. The PLP will not nor will I support a police strategy that presides over increasing loss of the streets to this mobster element and the loss of human life.
The Governor and the Commissioner's operational leadership must be stepped up to reflect strategic preventative action.
The PLP has these concerns and we have action plans that we are prepared to share with the police leadership as we did as the government.
Again on behalf of the Party Leader, Mr. Marc Bean and PLP Family I offer to your families our thoughts and Prayers and our commitment to work with the authorities to bring the person or persons responsible to swift justice."