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Boy, 15, Dies In New Gun Attack

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Minister of National Security Marvin Dames in the House of Assembly. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By SANCHESKA DORSETT

Tribune Staff Reporter

Sdorsett@tribunemedia.net

A 15-year-old boy is the country’s latest murder victim after a shooting off Prison Lane last night. 

The boy was shot in front of a house in Greenwich Street shortly after 8pm by a man in a dark coloured Honda.

He was taken to hospital where he later died.

This came just hours after National Security Minister Marvin Dames said that there has been a slight decline in killings under the Minnis administration.

In response, Christian Council President Bishop Delton Fernander said the country was not interested in trends but viable crime solutions as he refuted the claim.

 Mr Dames told reporters outside Cabinet that, despite a recent uptick in homicides, the murder rate in the last six months of the year is slightly less than the first four months.

However, the figures he provided were inaccurate based on Tribune records.

According to Mr Dames, there were 58 homicides during the first four months of the year, January to April. He added there had been 54 murders from May to the present - not including this latest shooting death.

“So if you compare the first four months with the last six months you can see it’s decline, not a meaningful decline, but there are some inroads being made,” the national security minister said.

Tribune records show there were 50 murders at the end of April, and, taking into account the latest killing, there have been 63 murders since that period. 

Yesterday, Bishop Fernander said: “Definitely we don’t see the trend. The truth of the matter is we are talking about trending down or up but the people are not concerned about trends, we want viable solutions. We know all of us need to work together whether it’s the opposition or the church, evil flourishes when good people do nothing.”

Bishop Fernander told The Tribune the council planned to meet with Mr Dames to appeal for a gun amnesty, adding it was time for the country to rise up and unite.

“We will also be submitting ourselves for information,” he continued, “we’ve gotten quite a bit of reviews saying they don’t trust some of the people at the police force. So we’re going to offer ourselves as pastors for persons to come with information and we can then turn it over to the police. 

“It is our hope this will be embraced by the Minister, and there will be less isolation and more collaboration.”

At Cabinet yesterday, ahead of Bishop Fernander’s comments to The Tribune, Mr Dames said he did not see the need for a gun amnesty because previous attempts did not produce significant results.

He underscored the Royal Bahamas Police Force has “adjusted its strategy” to target gangs rather than individual criminals.

Mr Dames also said the majority of people being sought for murder, in addition to those being murdered, are all “children”.

“We are determined to get this crime problem under control and we have adjusted our strategy to take down groups and organizations. If you take one suspect, some one else pops up so we are taking down groups and we will get them,” he said.

“We have warrants out for seven persons for murder and the oldest one is 38, these are children we are dealing with. One of the most recent matters, the individual was in custody then he was released and within hours he went and committed a homicide and was arrested again.

“The officers are doing a tremendous job,” he continued.

“What you see happening now is that officers are not just looking at solving one murder but we understand the complexity related to these issues, so we know that they are gang related and they are being driven by persons who are fighting for turf to sell drugs and so they are trying to take out the next one.”

Last month Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson announced the establishment of two separate RBPF anti-crime units aimed at eliminating gang activity in the country and reducing the number of homicides.

Mr Dames’ comments outside the Cabinet office yesterday came 24 hours after 23-year-old Gregory Hanna was shot and killed in a shooting on Ida Street.

According to reports, Mr Hanna was standing in front of a house when two men in a Honda vehicle shot him before speeding off. He was taken to hospital where he later died of his injuries.

Police immediately launched an island-wide manhunt which led to the arrest of one of the suspects. The other suspect, along with several other men, are being sought in connection with this and several other murders in the area that occurred over the past months.

Mr Dames also said the majority of people being sought for murder, in addition to those being murdered, are all “children”.

“We are determined to get this crime problem under control and we have adjusted our strategy to take down groups and organizations. If you take one suspect, some one else pops up so we are taking down groups and we will get them,” he said.

“We have warrants out for seven persons for murder and the oldest one is 38, these are children we are dealing with. One of the most recent matters, the individual was in custody then he was released and within hours he went and committed a homicide and was arrested again.

“The officers are doing a tremendous job,” he continued.

“What you see happening now is that officers are not just looking at solving one murder but we understand the complexity related to these issues, so we know that they are gang related and there are being driven by persons who are fighting for turf to sell drugs and so they are trying to take out the next one.”

Last month, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson announced the establishment of two separate RBPF anti-crime units aimed at eliminating gang activity in the country and reducing the number of homicides.

Anyone with information on any of the country’s killings is asked to contact police at 911 or 919, the Central Detective Unit at 502-9991 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 328-TIPS.

Comments

Sickened 1 month ago

We are running low on young men. Who will they go after next? Or, will there be no killers left?

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licks2 1 month ago

Our current crop of hit men are many of those very teens. . . the mobs are getting recruits from these age groups. . .most of the old gangsters are dead. . . killed oof I should say!

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BahamasForBahamians 1 month ago

Lol wait..

We have babies and kids being killed at almost genocide rates and this guy wants to say homocides are down? Can Hubert fire this guy forthwith?

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actusreus 1 month ago

“We have warrants out for seven persons for murder and the oldest one is 38, these are children we are dealing with."

Really? At 38 he is a grown man. These statements by the Minister are very misleading.

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 month ago

This is very sad. Agreed, viable solutions need to be presented. So tired of rhetoric and political optics!

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birdiestrachan 1 month ago

No games lied he knows that murders have increased under the FNM. So why tell such a bold face lie?? Masterful liar.

What other lies is he telling??. besides he is making it political.

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licks2 1 month ago

How did it increased? Please tell us. . .remember that this government was elected May 10, 2017! Now bring the stats for last year from May to October. . .then and only then can we determine if your statement is correct!

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DEDDIE 1 month ago

What puzzles me is our inability to keep criminals in jail. Why don't the Attorney General do what the United States does. Prosecute them for a lesser crime until their murder trial comes up. For instance, prosecute them for gun possession which carries about 10 years and they now have all the time to wait until their murder trial comes up.

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrade Security Minister Marvin, might want to look into 'Gunshot Location Systems' which can be installed in known and potential high risks crime areas for rapid alerts and awareness into the communications and dispatch center where the alerts are used to direct policeman's s to the scene of the gunfire, thus increasing arrest rates, improving first responders safety, securing witnesses and evidence, and enhancing investigations, as well as in the long run deterring gun crimes, shootings.

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DDK 1 month ago

Is it bullet-proof, Comrade?

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DDK 1 month ago

I wish this man would stop talking like a politician and address the real issue which is an out of control murder rate which is GROWING by leaps and bounds. I cannot for the life of me imagine how PMH deals with these shooting cases.

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrade DDK, hospitalized shooting victims are assigned around the clock policeman's guards. The growing crime costs to the public purse, residents and businesses if left unchecked - will eventually bankrupt the whole damn country.

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DDK 1 month ago

On gurneys in the halls?

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Yep, then if you don't make it through the night - they rolls your body on that gurney out one freezers units in the parking lot.

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DDK 1 month ago

Another reason for Government, RBPD and judicial system to stop beating around the bush and GET A GRIP!

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John 1 month ago

The last thing this country needs is someone to try create an illusion that crime, or more specifically, murders are on the decrease. And to do this by the manipulation of numbers when people’s sons and daughters and friends and coworkers and even the little ones are being shot up and killed. The country needs a significant enough decrease in crime and murder such that the average man or woman on the street can look and see there is a difference. They can feel more safe. And the killers and other criminals get the clear and precise message that crime will not be tolerated.

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TalRussell 1 month ago

Comrades! Isn't it less to do with da facts, and more of a game of who's the current security minister? Its called, fudging around with da arithmetic.

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John 1 month ago

And if one really wants to play with the numbers, the projected murders for 2017 has risen slightly from 141.25 to 141.83, meaning the country is more likely to record over 141 murders in 2017 rather than 140 or 141...this is very bothersome, disturbing, mind unsettling especially to those who expected change under the new government, especially to those who have lost more than one family member or friend, and also to those who are trying to restrain others from vigilante behavior and encouraging them to allow the law to take its course. Yes almost half a year has passed under the new administration. Yes it has been almost 6 months already..Hopefully this is the storm and the calm is coming soon.

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John 1 month ago

Are you trying to say (Anthony Ferguson) that after a decade is senseless killings, the police are just now trying to tie murders together and find a common thread.? Every murder suspect should have to answer why (motive). They should be made to say who else was involved or if they acted alone. Was it a paid hit and if so put out by whom and for what reason. Was the victim the right target and if so was he the only target. More importantly police should try find out in every murder where the killer got the gun. And then track back to where every single gun got into this country. And then there should be arrests made for gun trafficking, for gang leaders, for gang participation and for drugs. Likewise similar profiles should be built for each murder victim. Age where he/she lived, motive for killing. Were they the intended target. Was anyone else targeted. Were they involved in gangs, drugs, or a triangle love affair or some other activities than may have led to their demise. Then the police must get the information out there. To the young people and to the parents, who in most cases will be single mothers. Let the parents know if their children are involved in certain criminal activities, specifically gangs and drugs, they can become a victim of murder. And even more so if they are a gang member they may be required to do a ‘hit’ or murder. There are sufficient retired police officers who can be r-recruited to visit the schools and troubled communities. Many boys are recruited to gangs in the fifth and sixth grades. They are too young and green to understand the consequences of their actions at such an early age. Every police officer should be made aware of the common motto of each and every gang: to create murder, mischief and mayhem. To disrupt civil society. And so the police should act accordingly.

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Sickened 1 month ago

For gunshot victims the first thing the police and paramedics need to do is look for gang tattoos. If they find any on the body then simply morphine him up just enough to answer questions like 'who shot you'. Don't strain our limited resources on saving the lives of gang bangers. NOT SAYING THIS KID WAS ONE - I DON'T KNOW!

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