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Husband Shoots Wife, Turns Gun On Himself

Shawn and Nicola Bethel died in their Yellow Elder Gardens home.

Shawn and Nicola Bethel died in their Yellow Elder Gardens home.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

A MAN shot and killed his wife before fatally turning a weapon on himself in an apparent murder suicide in the home they shared at Yellow Elder Gardens early yesterday morning.

While police have not released their identities, The Tribune can confirm they are Shawn and Nicola Bethel. They were both government employees and the parents of three children.

The incident sent shock waves rippling through the community, with neighbours telling this newspaper the street – West Dennis Court – where the family lived for about ten years was usually peaceful and without incident.

The children were said to be in the home when the incident happened. The woman’s death marked the 22nd homicide for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.

“The only thing we know is there was screaming and crying,” one resident who lives near the couple’s home said yesterday. “There was a party last night, so the music was loud so we didn’t hear the shots or the arguing. But we heard the screams and crying.

“They didn’t have any problems,” the neighbour continued. “They weren’t the type of couple to be fighting in the road and rowing for you to say this would happen to them. They seemed loving.”

Another neighbour said: “This is just a tragedy man. I mean they were hard working and loving. He was so helpful and he brought us the garbage bins and made sure the garbage was always empty. He don’t care how you offer him money, he would not take it.

“One night my husband (car) broke down and he came and I told him and his only response was ‘where is he?’ And he jump right back in his car and went to him. That’s just the kind of person he was.

“We are just surprised at this.”

Neighbours told The Tribune shortly after midnight, relatives reportedly arrived at the home with the hopes of mediating an argument between the couple.

While they believed the situation was diffused, the relatives were leaving the home when they heard the first gun shot, which allegedly killed Mrs Bethel, neighbours claimed.

Moments later, police arrived to find Mr Bethel in the kitchen of the home with a gun pointed upward and under his chin when he pulled the trigger and took his own life, neighbours further claimed.

However police gave a slightly different account, but said they were investigating a murder suicide.

“Shortly before 2am, police officers were called to a home on West Dennis Court, Yellow Elder Gardens, after it was reported that a male was there armed with a firearm. As officers approached the home, they heard gun shots coming from inside the house.

“Officers entered the home and discovered a male and female in an unresponsive state, with apparent gunshot injuries. Paramedics were called to the scene, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive the victims. They were pronounced dead at the scene,” police reports said.

Meanwhile, condolences from friends and family flooded Mrs Bethel’s Facebook page yesterday.

“When I heard I could not believe it,” one person wrote. “We all loved you but Jesus loves you best. Will be praying for your children and family. So sorry.”

“We started our journey in the public service together from Airport Maintenance (MOW) to Solid Waste Management (DEHS),” another friend wrote. “Then we got separated but we stayed in contact our kids became a part of the Rangers programme so our connection was still in place. Lord a rose has now entered your garden. Nicky, we love you RIP.”

Police are appealing to anyone with information regarding this incident or any crime, no matter how small or insignificant the tip may seem, to anonymously call police at 919 or Crime Stoppers at 328-8477 in New Providence or 1-242-300-8477 in the Family Islands.

Comments

TalRussell 1 year, 10 months ago

Ma Comrades, when are we as a people goin' demand to go the way of a Colony Islands with ZERO Tolerance Guns?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 10 months ago

You would be singing an entirely different song if this family's home had been subject to a home invasion by hard core criminals and the husband successfully protected his family with his gun. Obviously you would be comfortable with only the thugs in our society being armed with guns and preying on the rest of us.

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TalRussell 1 year, 10 months ago

Comrade Well_Mudda, in case you missed the hornet’s nest that's done stirring up the murdering 22 we people still into but the third month 2018 - it's guns murderous bullets, not tossing of rocks. If reporting is correct - no connection gangs, drugs or criminal elements see here, or just another possessed by devil home bad people killing each other.

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joeblow 1 year, 10 months ago

Guns are not the issue! If he had used a knife or rock would we call for the banning of those tools as well?

The problem is we assume that because people get older they develop certain skills, like conflict resolution, critical thinking, etc! Those are things that should be taught in the home, but the increase in single parent homes leave many young persons without essential life skills. The only way many can respond to life's stresses is to act out violently. It is a culture of ignorance that can only change with education!

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John 1 year, 10 months ago

Conflict resolution... whether it is on the street, on the job or in your private home. No one wins when the conflict ends with the loss of life. And now children must bare the loss of both parents. Their loss is greater than anyon in this instance. Once a bullet leaves a gun, you cannot call it back. And if shots are fired and takes the life of a second person or even more, at least the shooter had time to think about what he was doing. One faith teaches their members against keeping weapons in the home because the best way to avoid using a weapon in a conflict is to not have one. And yes the topic is very debatable. Especially with the level of violence and home intrusions today.

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Sickened 1 year, 10 months ago

I feel so sorry for the kids. There will be some very serious and difficult issues for those kids to work through as they get older. I hope the grandparents know that they alone cannot help the children deal with this matter and that they take full advantage of any help/therapy being offered. So very sad!

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 10 months ago

I am also sorry for the children. They deserve better.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 10 months ago

I'm sorry for all of them. For the wife because she didn't chose to die and for the husband because he thought there was no hope of joy beyond the current challenge. Sorry he thought this was the only answer.

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sheeprunner12 1 year, 10 months ago

Did the husband or wife or some family member or close friend notice that something was brewing??? ....... and alerted the church, family counsellors, crisis centres, police, etc. to help them???? ...... This is what is needed in our communities ....... Are we our brother's/sister's keepers anymore????? ....... All the talk afterwards is spilled milk now.

This kind of tragedy can be arrested if those who know these "secrets" and do not tell - would simply alert those social partners who may be able to help these "at-risk" persons.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 10 months ago

Well the story says family members went there that night to break up the argument. Seems like they did what they knew to do, I wouldn't second guess them. If they had gotten her to leave with them he may have tracked her elsewhere. I'm gonna get religious here because my "personal" belief (I said personal) is the answers are there. When the people asked Jesus why the house fell down and killed the wedding party in a time of joy, Jesus told them, don't worry about "why", make sure YOU are ready now because your time could come unexpectedly.

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joeblow 1 year, 10 months ago

Take a look at their pictures, especially the eyes and see if they looked like a "happy" couple!

But I really do feel for the children. So sad!

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gbgal 1 year, 10 months ago

So sad! God blessings on them all, and prayers for the dear children to live happy and fulfilling lives.

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