Mother, children in shooting terror

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June 29, 2010

A Nassau mother and her three children are severely traumatized after a gunshot victim commandeered their car to escape what ended as a fatal shooting.

This murder was only one of three fatal shootings over the weekend, and the sixth murder in the capital in just six days.

The mother told The Tribune how her simple trip to the convenience store put her and her family in the middle of a bloody and gruesome murder scene Saturday evening.

She had gone to the plaza at the end of Sequoia Street, Pinewood Gardens to go to the convenience store when she noticed persons engaged in an argument outside the bar in the same plaza.

She said: "I saw the argument in the distance and I said let me get out of here. But there was a car in front of me that was just stationary like they were watching the argument. Then I heard the gunshots.

"I was reversing back and he [victim] just jumped on the railing of my car, and while I was swerving trying to get out, he climbed into the backseat window saying "go go go"."

In the backseat were the mother's three children, ages 11, 14, and 16. The mother said her children, who witnessed the victim's later death are taking the incident "extremely hard".

She said: "He was bleeding everywhere and he puked all over the floor. I just drove to the nearest phone to call the police."

Police responded to the shooting shortly after 7 pm, however, the victim was already dead. The unidentified man was wearing a red t-shirt and blue jeans. He had been shot several times.

Police officials confirmed that they are considering the possibility of providing witness protection for the family.

Visibly distraught, the mother exclaimed: "I don't even know him. I was trying to get away!"

Unconfirmed reports indicate that the deceased was murder-accused Bradley Ferguson, who had recently been released from prison. Ferguson was acquitted on appeal for the March 6, 2002 murders of a pregnant Rosemary Bennett-Wright and her son Jakeel Wright of Fox Hill, as well as the attempted murders of Devonna Brown and Omega Fox.

A day earlier, on Friday evening, a 31-year-old man died in hospital of gunshot injuries to the stomach. According to police reports the victim was sitting outside a residence at Malcolm Road when two masked men approached him demanding cash - one of the men was armed with a handgun. The culprit fired several shots in the man's direction. On Sunday, a 20-year-old Atlantis employee was gunned down.

In an effort to meet the rising crime challenges, police have deployed numerous preventative initiatives, such as increased walkabouts, stop and search, and participation in the community through the schools and churches.

However, top officials admit that there is little preventative recourse available due to the nature of violent crime - particularly homicide -- in the Bahamas.

Glen Miller, Assistant Commissioner of Police, said: "It's a challenge because you at home can be having conflict with someone, but we don't know of the conflict until after the murder.

"Although it's a domestic issue, people within the home cannot resolve conflict. And if we cannot come together in a sensible way that we can resolve it, it ends up in a homicide."

While there have been months in which the homicide count has exceeded the current toll, police officials say they can't recall incidents occurring with this frequency.

Mr Miller said: "It's a good example of what's going on in the country - the anger that's going on with different individuals.

"Because there are other matters - like causing harm - which can be very serious. Sometimes the only difference is they're not hit in the right spot."

Mr Miller added: "I also want to commend the team at Accident and Emergency (Princess Margaret Hospital). They really on a daily basis prevent a whole lot of stuff."

All investigations are continuing and police are appealing to anyone with information to contact them at 919, the CDU at 502-9991, or the Crime Stoppers hotline at 328-TIPS.

Click here to read more at The Tribune

News date : 06/29/2010    Category : Tribune Stories

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