National Heroes Day 2020 will be marred by a spate of social violence that saw the life of a 22-year-old man snuffed out in broad daylight at Warwick Gas Station on South Road on Sunday.
Serious Crime Division officers will hold a news conference at police headquarters in the City of Hamilton at 11:30 this morning to discuss Bermuda’s latest murder and “the events of the past 48 hours”, that saw large fights break out at John Smith’s Bay and in St David’s over the weekend.
The victim sustained multiple stab wounds just outside the building that houses the gas station before he was rushed to the hospital’s Emergency Department via ambulance, where he subsequently succumbed to his injuries.
The stabbing incident occurred around 7:15pm Sunday (June 14).
Police have accessed CCTV footage from the area and the investigation is being rapidly progressed.
Indications are that they are looking for more than one suspect based on the CCTV footage obtained.
Video of the young man lying in a pool of blood outside the gas station was circulated on social media shortly after the incident, showing someone kneeling over him trying to help him.
Speaking at the scene last evening with TNN, Detective Sgt Jason Smith said: “Inquiries are ongoing at this time to identify and arrest the perpetrators that are responsible for this stabbing.
“I think it’s too early at this stage to call it gang related but we are treating it as a murder inquiry.
“Unfortunately the young man has succumbed to his injuries and our condolences are extended to his family at this time.
“We are appealing to members of the public, particularly those who were here at the gas station at the time, or who might have been riding by, driving by in their vehicles at the time who would have witnessed this assault to please make contact with us, so we can piece together what has happened.”
National Security Minister Wayne Caines said: “This is the fourth critical incident that we have had in the last four days.
“My heart is heavy because tonight’s incident has left a family mourning the loss of a son and as a community we have to be outraged when we see these things happening in our community.
“I’m watching the police do that which they have been doing over the last four days, forensic officers at the scene, the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service, the Bermuda Regiment and their eyes are heavy, their hearts are heavy because they are tired of coming to scenes and scraping up the blood of our brothers and sisters,” he said.
“As a community…we have to take and understand the sanctity of life. I’ve just had a conversation with the Police Commissioner, he is now rallying the senior staff of the Bermuda Police Service and they will make a strong community response in the not too distant future.
“It is important for us to understand that we have a legal system that will hold the people to account,..and when the community has to stand up against specific things, I’ll be the first person to stand with the brothers and sisters in this country to say that you know what,black lives have to matter. But they have to matter tonight as well.
“We have to see this incident and we have to be as equally as outraged as we were outraged when that man was shot in the United States of America. We have to be equally outraged tonight when we watch and know that this family will be at the hospital mourning the loss of a son.
“I am outraged that as a community we do not understand the sanctity of life, the importance of this weekend. And four critical incidents in one weekend. As a community we must bond together. We must practice what we preach. We must hold each other accountable.
“I believe that we have one more day left in our holiday and going into next week, we must all now if you know people that are involved in antisocial behaviour, the elders in our community must rise.
“Community activists must get in this community tonight and tomorrow and make sure that this is quelled.
“I will go into the hospital, I will go into our community in the affected areas and make sure that they know that the Government and the people of Bermuda supported them.
“Our department has activated our Crisis Response Team and our Crisis Response Team will go to the hospital – will go to the families and we’ll make sure that they are provided with comfort and support. And the Bermuda Police Service also has entities within the Bermuda Police Service that will give the families comfort and support tonight,
“Again, I urge everyone, if you have a son or if you have a daughter tonight to find out where they are, have the conversation, make sure they understand where we are going as a community.
“We fought hard last year, we fought hard and desperately to make sure that we do not have any murders within a year.
“We said to the world that we will continue to strive to work hard. We cannot, we cannot go backwards. I believe that we have the opportunity to stem, to stop and to put an immediate halt to the violence in our community and we all need to work together to do so.”
The investigation is being headed up by Acting Chief Inspector Kenten Trott of the Serious Crime Division, who can be reached on 717-2345 or the independent and confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477.
The Bermuda Police Service extends sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased.
- Top Feature Photo Courtesy of TNN