STRAY BULLETS: Several recent murder victims were not intended targets

STRAY BULLETS: Several recent murder victims were not intended targets
FILE PHOTO.

Senior criminals recruit young men for a life of crime

New trends in the importation of guns

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Police have recorded 28 murders so far for the year, several of which were not the intended or targeted victims.

Mortuary services personnel remove the body of a man who was shot dead on Thompson Lane on Sunday, March 13, 2022.

During a press conference, Acting Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander gave an update on the increase in murders over the past few weeks and the ongoing investigations into those matters.

There were 12 murders that occurred in January, compared to 10 from the same time last year; and four in February compared to 12 that happened in 2021.

So far for the month of March, there were 12 murders in the country, compared to five around the same time last year.

“To lose a loved one is never easy. Having your loved one gunned down abruptly and senselessly shows the erosion of our peaceful communities,” Fernander said.

“We cannot allow crime and violence to permeate the social and moral fabric of our Bahamian society.

“We refuse to allow the continuation of these senseless killings to be the driving force or hurt for many families. Crime or fear of crime shall not dictate day-to-day living for our law-abiding citizens. We cannot and will not allow the criminal element to imprison us.”

He warned Bahamians and members of the public to be careful who they are with as he noted that several of the recent murder victims were caught in the crossfires meant for someone else.

Five men were murdered over the weekend following three days of back-to-back shooting incidents.

Fernander noted that two of those incidents claimed the lives of unintended targets, noting that police are aware of who the killers were after.

He advised that the victim killed on Thompson Lane on Saturday was not the person being aimed for and when the killers returned on Sunday, they also took the life of another innocent bystander.

Additionally, he noted that a triple shooting last week Saturday that saw one man dead was also a bullet not intended for the victim.

“We are aware who the target was and that’s why I said family and friends of these individuals should stay away from them, don’t communicate, don’t harbor them because they’re re putting their lives in danger.”

Criminals recruiting young men

The acting police commissioner further pointed to other trends being seen by police, specifically the use and recruitment of young and under-aged boys to commit crimes.

“The senior criminals are not committing the crimes now. They are using the young men, they are putting the gun in their hand and giving them instructions to carry out these criminal acts.”

Fernander pleaded with parents to talk to their kids, or if they are involved in the life of crime to turn them in, so that they can be steered in the right direction.

He assured the public that officers are on the ground to investigate the spate of crimes and will bring them to a close soon.

Fernander advised that in the coming days and weeks, police will seek to ramp up their street presence and patrols to saturate hot spot areas.

“We are going to disrupt them, we are going to close shop, they will see us day in and night out. We will disrupt those drug houses within the communities. Bahamian people I believe are tired.”

Fernander noted that police were able to bring some closure to some of the matters that occurred this year, including one man in custody for a double shooting in Carmichael Road and another in custody in connection to a murder on Cowpen Road.

Gun Amnesty

Police have also been seeing a number of new trends in the import of guns into the country.

Fernander insisted that The Bahamas does not manufacture weapons here and that they are also targeting traffickers.

He advised that the weapon of choice is a high-powered assault rifle, often an AK-47, and showed video footage of guns being stowed away and hidden in snacks and cereal boxes being shipped into the country.

Police recovered two handguns in connection with a spree of robberies of gaming houses in the east and four people were arrested.

Police also arrested three Bahamians and a US citizen with respect to nine pistols, assorted magazines and ammunition on Sunday evening, en route to Nassau.

Three weeks ago, police arrested a man and woman in the Kemp Road area and collected eight pistols and a high-powered weapon.

Fernander said while police have not agreed on a “gun amnesty” to allow individuals to turn in their illegal firearms without fear of being arrested, it is something COP Paul Rolle is considering.

The acting commissioner of police encouraged members of the public who want to turn in weapons to still do so, in order to get those guns off the street.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.

2 comments

Are they finding a safe house for the man who was the intended target? What protection is he getting?

Build a corrections prison with manufacturing teaching skills on a island separate from civilization. Thus, for every bullets found on a subject it carries ONE YEAR PER BULLET with ghost gun or guns with serial numbers brings five years incarceration. li/G\ht

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