Minister says review underway of security protocols at govt. buildings
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Minister of National Security Marvin Dames yesterday called the double murder of a man and woman as they exited the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre on Fox Hill Road “sad” and “very unfortunate”.
He told Eyewitness News his ministry was reviewing a policy document that addresses security of government premises.
“What happened this morning shouldn’t have been allowed to take place in any country,” Dames said.
He continued, “It’s a sad thing and it’s clear that the male there in that incident was the targeted person, but… here is an individual who would have been shot just a month ago, and was receiving therapy for having been shot.
“It was clear that this morning that he was targeted again.
“What I would say is that police have made some tremendous inroads in that matter and I am confident, based on the little that I know, that they are on the right track.”
Authorities said yesterday that officers responding to reports of gunshots at Sandilands found the body of a woman in the driver’s seat of a vehicle near the entrance of the compound.
Police also discovered the body of a man lying on the ground with gunshot wounds not far from the vehicle.
Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash told reporters that police understand two gunmen exited a black sports utility vehicle (SUV), approached the couple, who were leaving Sandilands in a white vehicle, and opened fire.
The man attempted to run away.
However, the gunmen chased him down and shot him, police said.
Police believe the man was the intended target.
“We do not suspect that this incident had anything to do with the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre,” Cash said on scene.
“We believe this was an isolated incident.
“The male victim… is known to us and was the subject of a shooting incident sometime in August this year.
“We believe he is one of our prolific offenders who was targeted since August this year.
Cash said police believe the shooting was a gang retaliation.
The victims were in their mid-30s, according to police.
While Sandilands has security presence, it does not have a security checkpoint that prevents people from entering the compound freely.
Dames acknowledged this point and said the “unfortunate” incident causes the government to take additional measures.
“You have to look at the way we secure government buildings; every building, really,” the minister said.
“We’re living in a time where you’re absolutely correct, you have to look at [this] and sometimes, unfortunately, it takes incidents like this where we have to take measures to keep our workers safe — to keep our customers safe — and this is why security, not only of government buildings, but security in private businesses and everywhere else is key.
“We have to continue to think that way and use a combination of technology because you can’t put a police officer or Defence Force officer in every government building, in everything.
“We don’t have that, but there are steps you can take to improve the level of security and what we have been doing is reviewing and looking at… a draft policy now that speaks to just this.”
Dames added that the government and law enforcement agencies will be relentless in suppressing crime.