NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday the accidental shooting of a woman in her leg by police as they pursued a suspect on Amos Ferguson Street on Saturday was “unfortunate”.
He said the matter will be investigated to determine what happened, why it happened and “how it can be avoided in the future”.
Addressing the media outside the Churchill Building, the minister said: “Unfortunately, from time to time, stuff like this happens, but the good thing is that there are systems in place to review those actions.
“Obviously, that matter will be investigated to determine what happened, why it happened and how it can be avoided in the future.
“This is all a part of law enforcement.”
The minister said the government continues to explore “intermediate use of force”.
He said his heart goes out to the injured woman and the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) is looking at how it can learn from the incident.
Dames was asked whether the incident points to the need for additional training, but he said the Minnis administration has trained more people over the last four years than any successive administration and “we continue to do so at every level”.
According to the minister, any shooting — police-involved or otherwise — is cause for concern.
According to reports, officers were on routine patrol in the area of Blue Hill Road and Coconut Grove Avenue when they spotted the occupant of a silver vehicle driving recklessly.
When beckoned to stop, the car sped off.
Police pursued the suspect and the vehicle eventually came to a stop at the intersection of Amos Ferguson Street and Balfour Avenue.
There, the sole occupant of the vehicle exited and attempted to flee on foot.
The officers pursued on foot, but during the chase officers reportedly observed the man remove an object from his waist.
Police said the officer, being “in fear for his life”, shot in the direction of the suspect.
The man was subsequently detained, unharmed, and a pistol was recovered.
Following the incident, however, police learned that a woman who was on the outside of her residence during the incident complained of receiving injuries consistent with gunshot wounds to her legs.
She was last listed as being in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries in hospital.