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Dunkley: Stabbing murder and shooting are ‘an outrage to the community’

Friday's stabbing murder and shooting serve as a “disturbing reminder of the challenges we face”, Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley said.

Steven Jireh Iris, 22, died after he was stabbed on The Glebe Road on Friday morning; a 25-year-old man was shot that night.

“[It's a] traumatic blow to two families and an outrage to the community,” said the Minister.

“This is a disturbing reminder of the challenges we face and puts all of us on notice that periods of relative calm can be shattered in a moment.

“Let me express our condolences to the Iris family as they struggle to come to terms with this sudden loss.

“And I wish a speedy recovery for the young man recovering in hospital after being shot.”

Mr Dunkley yesterday visited The Glebe Road and Alexandria Road, the site of the shooting, with Junior Public Safety Minister Jeffrey Baron in a bid “to reassure the community of the Government's concern for their welfare and that of the families affected by Friday's events”.

Said Mr Dunkley: “Statements and speeches have their place but nothing beats personal contact and so I want to make sure that the residents in these areas know that we are here for them and take on board their concerns.

“Bermudians are resilient people and so, although we found people troubled by Friday's tragic events, they were also committed to solutions and supporting each other. Our walkabout was encouraging and I think appreciated by those we met.”

Mr Dunkley said he'd been updated on investigations into both crimes by Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva.

“It is very important that anyone with information about either of these two incidents contact the police or Crime Stoppers,” he said.

“Justice will be swifter and surer with the help of witnesses whose information can help to bring some closure to the families of the victims.”

He continued: “If you know something, say something. Many of us perhaps cannot understand such a stunning disregard for life.

“We do not yet have all the facts, but one family has lost a son and brother and another is keeping a bedside watch on another victim of senseless violence. As we reflect on Friday's events, let's remember both families in our thoughts and prayers.”

Mr Iris' death marks the fourth murder committed in Bermuda this year. It follows the double shooting of Haile Outerbridge and Ricco Furbert in January and the fatal stabbing of Verneil Richardson in June.

Meanwhile, Shadow Home Affairs Minister and area MP Walter Roban said he was “shocked” to hear of the two acts of violence.

In a statement released on Saturday he said: “This area over the years has seen its share of violent incidences which is disheartening to the [residents] and families of The Glebe Road area as they struggle to make sure they live in a safe and peaceful community.

“As the parliamentary representative for this area I stand with the residents and condemn this senseless act of violence. This particular area has seen one violent act too many.”

He sent condolences on behalf of the Progressive Labour Party to Mr Iris's family.

“Our thoughts and prayers are also with the family of the other young man who was shot at in the Alexandra Road, Devonshire area.

“We do hope for a speedy recovery from his injuries,” he added.

“All residents of Bermuda must be vigilant in the effort to combat and eliminate violent acts of all kinds as there are too many of our families still suffering from the negative effects of these incidents.”

Both MPs appealed to anyone who may have witnessed what happened to cooperate with the authorities in order to bring justice and closure for those who have been affected.

Mr Iris's death is the fourth murder committed in Bermuda this year, following the double shooting of Haile Outerbridge and Ricco Furbert in January and the fatal stabbing of Verneil Richardson in June.

A 22-year-old man is still in police custody in connection with the stabbing death of Mr Iris.

A forensic pathologist has completed the autopsy into the official cause of death and the family has been notified of the findings, according to a police spokesman.

Police are still appealing for anyone in the Glebe Road area who may have seen anything suspicious around 8.30am-9.30am, or anyone who may have been at KEMH around 9.20am-9.30am who would have witnessed a white Clio car, and males who walked into the emergency department with the victim, to contact Acting Detective Inspector Dennis Astwood on 247-1008, or the confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 800-8477.

Anyone who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the Alexandra Road area around 9.40pm is asked to contact police on 295-0011 or the confidential Crime Stoppers hotline, 800-8477.

A spokesman noted that “police are encouraged by the persons who have come forward to assist” so far.

A press conference will be held later today by police “to give a formal update on both the shooting and the murder investigation”.

Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published August 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 26, 2013 at 12:48 am)

Dunkley: Stabbing murder and shooting are ‘an outrage to the community’

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