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Gun violence makes me want to cry, says Santucci

The 24-year-old Warwick man arrested on suspicion of committing firearms-related offences has been released on police bail.

This as the investigation into recent gunfire in the Camp Hill and Cedar Hill areas of Warwick in addition to Parson's Road near Deepdale in Pembroke continues.

A fourth incident, near Dundonald and Princess Streets in Pembroke, was reported last week.

No injuries were reported, and while investigators have not formally linked the incidents, although the evidence suggests they're gang-related.

For Chaplain Kevin Santucci, chairman of the Warwick Parish Council, and a long-time Warwick resident it doesn't matter.

Each gun incident creeps closer to home, he said, and stray bullets can kill anyone, including innocent victims.

“It just throws us all off to be honest,” he said.

“It makes you want to cry to think that our country has come to a point where we have forgotten what it means to be family, what it means to be neighbours who look out for one another.

“We've come to a point now that if we don't have we are more prone to at least do harm to someone, or walk over people, or pull the carpet from under their feet to try to get what we want. And that's just terrible,” said Pastor Santucci.

“I don't why those shots were fired off in Warwick and they were fired off very close to home.

“I went to bed at about 1am that morning and when I woke up the neighbourhood was not calm.

“You felt the presence of something in the neighbourhood that was not neighbourly.

“Many were totally disappointed, outraged, and just plain upset.

“One child told his mother not to turn the lights on at night for fear of becoming a target.

“This is a neighbourhood with children and young people who are just petrified by incidents like this,” he said.

“The firing of any ammunition makes no sense to me because a stray bullet could hit anybody.”

And he refused to accept that gunshots being fired off in neighbourhoods is the new normal in Bermuda today.

“No, I'm not accepting that. There's no way we can accept all this willy nilly firing off of gunshots near people's homes.

“We've had murders in Warwick, we've had people murdered outside of Warwick who are from Warwick.

“We've got to make some change by pulling at the rope, by pulling at the cleaver that is promoting or causing young adults to want to commit such heinous crimes.

“We've got to reach the heart of our young people, not with some tool provided by some expert,” he said.

A big part of the problem he said is the basic lack of understanding on the subject of violence committed by young adults.

“All men are born with feelings of envy and hate. No matter how intense that envy and hate is, it is wrong, and it has led to the problems we're experiencing today.”

He noted that history will show that “self-justice only leads to the death of countless people worldwide”.

“Violence only kills what it intends to create; even if it is your pride that you are seeking to defend.

“Our most important task is to transform our consciousness so that violence is no longer an option.”

And the only way to counteract gang appeal in his view, is to stop the flow of new recruits through a community effort across the board.

“May we all be apart of the campaign in your area of calling to be become part of the solution and not pollution to end violence in our beautiful Bermuda.

“The key message I want to get across to the young men firing off gun shots for whatever reason is I'm here to listen to you.

“I'm here not to promote what you're doing but to help you overcome what you're doing.

“To the young men caught up in this madness for whatever reason, I'm here to tell you there is a still a better way.

“Come walk with me and let me show you a better way, I can help point you in the right direction.”

For more information e-mail TucciGardenMinistry@gmail.com or call 533-5154.

Photo by Akil Simmons Fighting back: While Chaplain Kevin Santucci is frustrated with recent shootings around the Island, he refuses to accept that they have become the ‘new normal'.

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Published August 20, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm)

Gun violence makes me want to cry, says Santucci

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