Grandmother recalls mass shooting horror

Fourteen people shot, including 10-year-old

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – After catering to guests at her daughter’s birthday party in Montell Heights for hours, Margaret Oliver walked inside her home to change her clothes with plans to rejoin them, but as she got dressed the sound of gunshots rang outside, briefly freezing her to the spot before she rushed to the front door, praying that her pregnant daughter, and 10-year-old granddaughter, among numerous other relatives, were not harmed.

Her granddaughter, Tyesha Johnson, was shot in both legs, while her daughter, Destiny, who turned 30, was unharmed.

Thirteen other people were shot – nine women and four men.

Authorities reported that a man walking toward the party on Ethel Street around midnight was approached by two gunmen, who opened fire on him.

Recalling the chaotic scene to Eyewitness News Online yesterday  after returning from the hospital, Oliver said as she swung open her front door, she saw several people keeled over on the ground, pools of blood beneath them, while others ran for cover from the yard adjacent to her one-story home.

“I was inside and I had just been serving, and when I came outside I met all of them shoot up,” said Oliver, as she sat on a chair in the vacant lot next to her home where the party had taken place the night before, the sound system used to play music still in the same position on the ground, just feet away from dried blood on the road.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do. Everybody was screaming, calling me.

“All I could hear was pow, pow, pow, pow, pow.

“The person wouldn’t stop shooting.

“Everybody was diving on the ground, diving over one another.

“I ran to the window. I looked around and I saw people, so I hurried up and opened the door and I ran to get the phone, and I dialed 919 and told them it was a massive shooting in Montell Heights, and they need to send some cars.

“The only thing I could tell them was, y’all get the car and don’t leave them on the road.

“Take them in the truck and let’s carry them to the hospital.

“We thought the ambulance was going to take too long and some of them were shot seriously.”

“If I wasn’t getting dressed, I was going to be outside.

“I was going to be outside with them. I may have gotten shot too.”

Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson told the media yesterday that police were following significant leads and were aware of who “we are looking for”, saying updates would come soon.

Asked whether she or any or her guests saw the shooters, Oliver said she was told that a grey Toyota Passo that was darkly tinted was parked near the playground and basketball court opposite her home for most of the night.

She said, “I don’t understand. It was just a little baby shower and a birthday — everything in one. I can’t see how those boys could come shooting at these little, couple children with this little sound box. We didn’t have a DJ to pull a crowd.

“You know when you have these things these people will still pass and do foolishness, but we only had this little box and they still came shooting.”

According to Oliver, police patrol cars passed the home numerous times during the night.

“The police were constantly passing; that’s why when the shots went off right after that I saw the white patrol car — CID (Criminal Investigation Division), she said.

Asked if she was fearful for her life, she paused before saying she does not believe her relatives were the intended targets.

“I am always outside and there [are not] any shootings, so I don’t know if somebody came to the party, who these people saw and came back; someone who they wanted to see or didn’t want to see or if it was their enemy,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. “But I am always outside, so I don’t know.”

Her granddaughter underwent surgery yesterday morning.

Oliver said she planned to return to the hospital.

The Public Hospitals Authority yesterday issued an urgent bulletin requesting donations of blood of all types.

Another relative, who did not wish to be named, told Eyewitness News Online that there was no confrontation that night and everyone in attendance was having fun.

He said what took place around midnight was unreal, “as if I was watching a movie”.

“Everybody was on the ground,

“It was like a movie. Do you understand? Everybody was just having fun and all of a sudden everybody was just dropping down.

“… Other people ran. Some people were in the corner, they were shot. People standing on one side, they were shot. The girl standing in the road, she got shot.

“I was paranoid. It happened so quickly. I didn’t see anyone leaving. All I saw was bright lights shining like firecrackers. All I was thinking then was if Maggie wasn’t getting dressed I would have been there too.”