By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
YOUTH leader Dudley Seide visited the Frobisher Circle area last week to speak with grieving families and residents after two young men of that community were killed within the past two months in suspected gang-related shootings.
Dexter Bellamy, 21, was killed on Saturday, May 28, in the area as he sat in a vehicle, and Tremecco “Bam-Bam” Johnson, 20, also of Frobisher Circle, was killed in March at the Fish Fry in Smith’s Point.
The young men lived about 200ft away from each other.
“My heart is grieving (at the loss of our) young men,” said Mr Seide, of Reach Out Youth Organisation on Wednesday.
He runs a community centre that provides mentoring programmes for at risk young men.
“I knew both of them. It is hurting and I cannot sleep…because some of these young men I took with me to Orlando… are dying and their families are grieving.”
Mr Seide and a group of concerned persons, including retired youth leader Terry Goldsmith, June Henderson, Pastor Tyrone Thomas and others went on a walkabout in the community.
Mr Seide stressed that young men are being killed every day in the Bahamas.
“We cannot sit back anymore in this country, in Nassau and Grand Bahama, and watch these young people die on our streets and think it is okay. We need to come together – politicians, business persons, everyone - and solve this problem in our country now.”
Mr Seide said there must be a collective community effort with politicians, churches, parents, the corporate sector, and community leaders to address the problem.
“We must try and find a way to stop this murder spirit in the country. Here we have two young men who were in their 20s, and two grieving mothers in this community. How can we sit back in our offices, in the churches, and in our homes and say it does not affect me? It affects all of us,” he said.
Terry Goldsmith, a well-known youth leader in Grand Bahama, said everyone is pulling in different directions instead of coming together to address the problem.
“We got to come together; we have murders going on day by day and young people are dying…and all we do is complain about it. I am out here and the church, politicians, and other persons have got to come out here,” he said.
“We got to get off our butts and say enough is enough. I have been in this country 50 years, I adopted the culture and I love the country, and I promised someone many years ago when I was 18 that I would make a difference in this world and I kept that promise. But now I am concerned, Bahamas enough is enough,” he said.
Pastor Tyrone Thomas, pastor of Freeport Great Faith Ministries, said they have been visiting the Garden Villas area, which is a known hot spot for criminal activities and where several murders have taken place.
He said Operation Take Back is making a difference in the area by empowering residents and uplifting the spirit of the people.
“We want to change that ghetto stigma attached to this community,” he said.
“I feel the church can play a major role in uplifting and changing these communities – Garden Villas, Colony Club and Frobisher Circle.
“I am hurt by the murders of these two men who live in this area. We need to get to the root of the problems in these communities by sitting down with residents and talking to them and helping them,” he said.
Bellamy’s death marked the ninth murder for the year on Grand Bahama. Up to press time, the country had recorded 52 homicides this year.