By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
POLICE are investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy in the Fox Hill area on Saturday evening.
The shooting came less than a week after an 11th grade Government High School student was shot multiple times and killed while hanging out with persons in the back of his Fox Hill home.
Saturday’s murder takes the country’s murder count to 102 for the year.
According to reports, shortly after 6pm on the day in question, the teen was walking on Johnson Road, Fox Hill, with another male, when two males in a grey coloured vehicle approached and shot at them before speeding off.
The victim was rushed to hospital in critical condition where he later died. The other male was unharmed, however.
Former Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell, in a video following both Saturday’s and last Tuesday’s murders, urged the Minnis administration, particularly National Security Minister Marvin Dames to “step up to the plate” and “put the resources in Fox Hill to get this problem resolved.”
Mr Mitchell, speaking live from the Fox Hill Park in a video circulated on social media, further lamented how his letters to both Mr Dames and commissioner of police to have additional resources placed in Fox Hill to fight “this crime epidemic and the gunshots that are being fired every night and people having to crouch in their homes” have not been answered to date.
“No response from the commissioner of police, no response more importantly from the minister of national security who campaigned, beating up his gums saying that oh yeah, they had the solution to all of this, and the situation has gotten worse,” Mr Mitchell said.
“…But back to the fact that you have now a 17-year-old got killed, that’s three people in three weeks in Fox Hill, plus two shot, plus gunshots every night,” Mr Mitchell said. “That’s what’s going on here, and the minister of national security is silent, has nothing to say.
“He needs to step up to the plate, and the government needs to put the resources in Fox Hill to get this problem resolved. Enough is enough.”
Last week Tuesday, police said they received reports gunshots were heard in the Brice Street area off Fox Hill Road around 11.30pm. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the lifeless body of a boy lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds.
Police have not official identified the victim but The Tribune understands he is 16-year-old Jeffery Wright of Brice Street.
Mr Mitchell said: “You know, a kid goes to Doris Johnson, he goes to the Church of God, Bernard Road, all of those communities, including the grandmother Renae Neely in this community and Ms Braynen who is the grandmother of the other boy, the 16-year-old who was killed. All of these people are suffering because of this stuff happening, and we must do something about it.
“And don’t tell me that I was the MP and ‘blah, blah, blah.’ That’s got nothing to do with what is happening now. We need to put resources to do something now. When I was MP, I did what was necessary to tap these issues down. I’m saying bring the resources FNM government. Do something about it.”
The Fox Hill community has long been plagued with violence.
In 2013, when Mr Mitchell was the area MP, Claudzino Davis, Shaquille Demeritte, Eric Morrison and Shanique Sands were shot and killed as they assembled on the basketball court in Fox Hill, awaiting the results of the 2013 Boxing Day Junkanoo parade. Several others were injured at the time.
Meantime last month, after weeks of reported violence in the area, officers conducted a walk-about in the community, gathering information and giving residents safety tips.
At the time, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean said the walk-about was “the first of many” officers plan to conduct in the area, known to police as a crime hotspot.
Additionally, Chief Superintendent of Police Maxine Rolle, officer-in-charge of the Eastern Division, said at the time she plans to canvass the area “at least twice a month.”
That same month, Fox Hill MP Shonel Ferguson expressed concern about the recent wave of gun-related violence in her constituency, pledging to “eradicate” the “stigma” of Fox Hill being labelled a crime hotbed by Bahamian society.
At the time, Ms Ferguson said her constituents are “enraged” over the stigma of violence attached to the area, saying much of what has happened in Fox Hill has also occurred in other areas in New Providence. She thus pledged to eliminate the negative connotations associated with the community by “pushing the positive things” about the area.
Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call police at 919, 502-9991 or the Crime Stoppers hotline at 328-TIPS.