By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
AN eight-month-old baby is dead after he was shot in his home early Monday morning in what police believe was an act of retaliation toward the toddler's father.
The boy's mother and father were also shot during the incident. They are both listed in serious condition in hospital.
Shortly after the tragic killing, police said they wanted to speak with 19-year-old Anthon Stevens, AKA Bigga for help with the investigation.
Stevens later turned himself in to the Central Detective Unit with his lawyer around 4.05pm in connection with the investigation, police said.
The shooting took place shortly after 3am on Monday and took the country's murder count to 90 for the year, according to The Tribune's records. It was also the second murder in less than 48 hours in the capital.
Police have not identified the baby but The Tribune understands he is Shelton Tinker Jr.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander said the adult male victim, the father of the toddler, was about to enter his home off Rupert Dean Lane when he was forced into the residence by a gunman who he knew.
“The adult male just got home and he was about to enter his home, north of Dunmore Street when he was approached by a gunman known to him, who lives in this general area. “The gunman forced him into the home," ACP Fernander said.
“The home is a single structure home, where the victim lived with his girlfriend and their 18-month-old baby boy. The individual fired a number of shots resulting in three persons being shot. The male victim, his girlfriend and the baby were shot to the body. The infant died on the scene, the male and the female were transported to hospital by ambulance and they are listed in serious condition. The man is in more serious condition than the woman."
ACP Fernander said the male victim and the suspected gunman had an argument the night before, which police believe led to the shooting.
“The only information we have is that there was an altercation earlier with the suspect and so this could have been retaliation as a result of the altercation,” ACP Fernander said.
“We are appealing to residents in this area, there are a number of houses in this yard, where the victim lived and the residents are familiar with the suspect and so we are appealing to residents to assist us. He (the suspect) should not be allowed, to be moving about in this community. Please work with us and get this individual off the street.” Hours later the suspect handed himself in to police.
ACP Fernander said police are not ruling out a possible connection with Monday’s triple shooting and a homicide that occurred on Saturday.
“We are not ruling out the latest homicide on Saturday, there could also be a connection, we are working both matters together based on our intel,” ACP Fernander said.
Shortly after 9.30pm on Saturday, police said a man was walking on Dumpus Way between Dumping Ground Corner and Finlayson Street, when another man armed with a handgun approached and shot him before fleeing on foot. The victim died on the scene.
When The Tribune arrived in the neighbourhood shortly after 10am, relatives of the victims were too emotional to speak with the media. However, a neighbour, who did not want to be identified because she feared for her life, said little Shelton was the “apple of his father’s eye.”
"It's just so sad that this would happen, but we have a lot of shooting through here so when we heard the shots, no one was really scared or shocked," she said.
"But they were a normal loving family, the baby didn't even have an opportunity to grow up and be a man. Everyone knows what has been happening in this area as it relates to crime but no one wants to be a snitch. So, no one is going to the police because snitches die and that is a fact. It is just sad that the baby had to be involved. His dad loved him and his mom did her best with him, I know they will not be the same after this."
In an interview with The Tribune, Executive Director of Bahamas Against Crime Rev C B Moss said he is angry and sad at the same time because he basically “grew up the man who was shot and the man who allegedly did the shooting,” adding that he knew them as children.
"I am deeply saddened about this,” the community activist told The Tribune. “I am not surprised unfortunately because things have been brewing in this area for years.
“These crimes have been years in the making and no one seems to be interested in helping this community the way they need to be helped," Rev Moss said.
“I know the young man police are looking for and I am angry because over the past three weeks this is the 5th homicide that has happened in the Bain and Grants Town area and the sad part about it is, it is not going to stop. The young man that was killed Saturday evening, I watched him grow up too and I heard that this latest shooting is in retaliation for that shooting. The man who was shot early this morning (Monday), I buried his son a few years ago, he had another baby that died of natural causes and now he has to bury another baby. “I know the suspects and the victims and this is a sad situation. We need help, this community needs help,” Rev Moss said.
Anyone with information on any of these homicides is asked to contact police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS.