Local residents woke up to news of another fatal shooting the day after the General Election, reinforcing a painful reminder that gun violence continues to plague this small island.
Police responded to reports of gunshots in the Upland Street area of Devonshire last night, where a male victim was found in an unresponsive state.
According to Chief Inspector Na’imah Astwood, police received several 911 calls around 10:40pm, reporting gunshots.
“Officers found a male victim who was unresponsive and later pronounced dead,” she said. The victim will be named after his next of kin have been notified. Police have not stated at this stage, whether or not this latest gun murder was gang related.
Sadly, this latest shooting occurred the day after Bermuda’s electorate reinstated the Progressive Labour Party in a decisive landslide victory that crushed the One Bermuda Alliance.
Addressing the need for a social vision for Bermuda, the PLP’s platform pledged to appoint a Gang Violence Reduction Coordinator to implement “programmes to reduce gang violence and anti-social behaviour” in the first 100 days of the new PLP administration.
The party pledged to “give reducing gang violence the priority it deserves”. This latest fatal shooting has undoubtedly reinforced the need to address the ongoing issue of gun violence in Bermuda.
How the government and the community at large will tackle the fact that there are young Black men hell- on killing each other will no doubt present major challenges. Clearly efforts to date have failed to break this vicious cycle that has claimed yet another life.
Word of this latest shooting prompted another round of commentary on social media overnight. One resident wrote: “Another sad day in Bermuda. When the election was won on July 19th my first comment was ‘Now if we could only get the youth to stop shooting one another!’ And here we go one day in [sic] another black male has lost his life to gun violence.
“We have a social responsibility to solve this problem it’s not an OBA or PLP problem, it’s a BERMUDA problem. This community is too small for this madness. The devil is a liar and he won’t have our boys.
“All those who campaigned on ‘forward together’ don’t go into hiding because you lost the election… Bermuda stand together, pray together, work together to show these youth that their potential dies either in front or behind the barrel of a gun. Show them that they are bigger and better than this so called thug life. And whoever is bankrolling the guns and drugs your time is coming and God will reveal you soon enough cause [sic] light always wins over darkness.”
Another resident wrote: “So sad and disgusting. Yes, this is a Bermuda problem, but those whose households and/or neighborhoods are not directly impacted won’t give a rat’s a$$ [sic] about this. We all need to come together in these affected neighborhoods and show some love to these young people who have lost their way. Love is what we need.”
Meanwhile, in a statement released this morning, Premier David Burt said: “My thoughts, prayers and condolences are extended to the man’s family and friends at their tragic loss.
“I urge everyone in our community who may know something about this senseless act of violence to contact the Bermuda Police Service or the anonymous Crime Stoppers Hotline so the perpetrators of this crime can be brought to justice.”
Police are now appealing for any witnesses who may have seen anything in Upland Street around 10:40pm or in the Devonshire area to contact Chief Inspector Astwood on 717-0926 or acting Detective Inspector Jason Smith on 717-0864.
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