EXECUTED: Six dead in horrific gangland ambush

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April 16, 2021

SIX men were murdered in a hail of bullets after men wearing black, brandishing high powered assault rifles and handguns, ambushed them at the intersection of Jerome Avenue and Chesapeake Road yesterday.

A woman and two-year-old girl, who were in a separate vehicle but believed to be related to one of the deceased victims, were critically injured in the gun attack, police said. They were said to be in critical but stable condition in hospital last night.

The incident is the deadliest shooting in recent times. It unfolded shortly after the men were released from police custody. They were arrested on Wednesday for firearm possession but were released hours before their deaths. Police said the men were not all held at the same station; they were at Central Detective Unit and other locations.

At least four of them were arrested after an incident at the foot of the old Paradise Island Bridge on which was noted in an earlier police press release. The remaining two men and others were also arrested for similar incidents.

As the six men pulled up to the intersection in a silver Honda Inspire shortly before 5 last night, a white Kia SUV trailed behind them. Four men in black then emerged from the SUV, two with high powered weapons, and shot at the victims. Police suspect it was a gang related attack.

The deaths pushed the nation’s murder count to 39 for the year, according to this newspaper’s records.

In response, Police Commissioner Paul Rolle ordered officers to saturate known criminal hotspots to prevent potential retaliatory incidents by rival groups.

At a press conference at police headquarters last night, National Security Minister Marvin Dames called the perpetrators “monsters” and insisted it was time for relatives and friends harbouring such people to stand with police to fight the scourge of violence.

No guns or drugs were found in the vehicle, police said.

“Once the officers arrived at the scene they met six individuals—(victims) one and two was on the outside of the silver Honda Inspire,” Assistant Commissioner Solomon Cash said. “(Victims) three, four, five and six was confined to the inside of a Honda Inspire.

“The officers did a preliminary assessment of the scene and they discovered that all six victims was shot multiple times and appeared lifeless. Officers also discovered two additional victims: one an adult female victim who suffered multiple gunshot wounds and a minor two-year-old victim who also suffered a gunshot wound.

“Those two victims were transported to the Accident and Emergency of the Princess Margaret Hospital where they will undergo medical assistance and their injuries were described as critical, but stable. The six males deceased was also pronounced dead on scene by medical practitioners.

“The only information that we are working with at this time is that shortly before that time a Honda Inspire pulled up and that junction followed by what was described as a white Kia jeep.

“Four persons all wearing black clothing emerged from that vehicle. Two we suspect was armed with high powered weapons and the other two was armed with what appeared to be handguns.

“These persons opened fire on that Honda Inspire causing a high amount of damage to that vehicle. The vehicle then ran off the road and into bushes as those suspects continued firing their weapons on the inside,” ACP Cash said.

The shooting of the two-year-old child came after a ten-year-old boy was shot to death last month while two other children were hurt.

The children were at their home in Bain Town at the time.

Asked by The Tribune about concern that yet again another child was victim to gun violence, Commissioner Rolle said it showed that criminals were becoming more “despicable”.

“Some time ago I made the comment about even in the criminal world persons not abiding by their own code,” he said.

“One of those codes is where you have females and children, the rival individuals typically do not engage, but in recent times we have noticed that it is becoming more and more despicable the behaviour of these persons and it shows you the level of disrespect that they have even among themselves that they could just carelessly shoot they don’t care who is in the area or in that vehicle. They just shoot and this is what we have seen, and I think that people need to speak out more.”

“These are the monsters that we would have raised,” Mr Dames added. “These are nobody’s kids but ours. We have brought them into this world.

“The Commissioner is 1000 percent correct. It’s time for us now to play our respective roles as parents and as family members.”

He also said: “We have an idea of what they are engaged in and it’s a problem when you put and assault rifle in the hands of an inexperienced child. This is often the end result of that.”

In response to yesterday’s incident, teams were sent into communities to establish what the commissioner called a “formidable presence”.

“We understand that these individuals may have been involved with these rival groups, but we want to make sure that there is going to be no retaliation. We are not going to allow that tonight or tomorrow or the following days onward,” the police chief said.

“We will establish a formidable presence to ensure that every household, every member in this city remains safe until we find these individuals and bring them to justice.”

The murders have also shed light on a growing concern about the kinds of weapons on the street.

“All firearms are dangerous, but I want to say that the difference between a handgun that someone may possess may carry eight or 15 rounds, you talking about an assault rifle that is capable of firing up to 1,000 rounds per minute,” the Commissioner said.

“You squeeze the trigger and in three seconds you already fired 30 rounds and these persons are not trained. We don’t use those in the police force. We don’t use those automatic weapons for the very same reason. Those things are not for this type of environment, they are for war. When people go out in the war, they just take them and spray, that is the type of weapons that are here.

“Yes, we are concerned about it.”

An incident room at the Central Detective Unit to sift through information that could lead to finding the perpetrators was also established.

People with information are asked to call 502-9929, 502-9935, 502-9942, or 502-9952.

Mass killings, though not common in The Bahamas, have been recorded before. In 2013, four people were killed, and several others were injured at a mass shooting at Freedom Park in Fox Hill. In 1964 30‐year‐old building contractor Reuben Rolle reportedly killed six people, including his wife, with a shotgun before going on a rampage and wounding six others.

Click here to read more at The Tribune

News date : 04/16/2021    Category : Crime, Tribune Stories

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