By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
NATIONAL Security Minister Marvin Dames yesterday said assault rifles have now become the weapon of choice, insisting the country had seen the last of the “rock and bottle generation”.
Mr Dames was responding to questions on the country’s latest homicide at a Neighbourhood Watch Council press briefing at police headquarters.
He said while law enforcement has done what it can to adapt its strategies, there is “still a long way to go” in continuing to stem the tide of violent and often deadly gun crimes.
Wednesday’s quadruple shooting in Yellow Elder left one man dead and three others, including a woman, in hospital.
“…Things are trending positively as it relates to crime. But we still have a long way to go,” he told members of the press.
Mr Dames added: “…We are pleased with the direction in which we are headed because the results are telling us that things are getting better. There will be times when you have a shooting. That was one incident, all right, it was one incident where a couple of people got shot.”
Mr Dames continued: “So it stands that it is part of the challenge that we face now. We are no longer in the rock and bottle generation, all right. And so, we have now moved on from the .38 and pistol; which is, (when) you fire one…one shot go off.”
“You know, people want assault rifles now. So one time you go to shoot, you fire and you hit one person. You have assault rifles now, you fire, you ain’t hitting one person, you hitting about two or three,” he stated.
According to police reports, shortly after 9pm, a group of people were sitting on the porch of a home on Lightbourn Avenue, when they were approached by an armed man who opened fire before running away.
The group was taken to hospital where one man died of his injuries. The remaining three victims are listed in serious condition.
While police have not identified any of the persons shot, The Tribune understands that the deceased is 26-year-old Jamaal Rolle.
Further addressing the incident yesterday, Mr Dames said: “We are not going to stop every homicide. We are not going to stop every shooting.”
“But it is initiatives like this one that will certainly go a long way in helping us to achieve our goal which is the continued downward reduction in crime nationally; especially serious crimes,” he said, referring to the National Neighbourhood Council which is being recognised this weekend.
“And, I can tell you for example, in Yellow Elder they have a very, very active crime watch group.
“They continue to work hand in hand with police, and I know because I see, they have a chat group and there is not a day that goes by where they are not communicating with each other to address some issue.
“And so, this is the beginning and what we are seeking to do here through the establishment of the National Neighbourhood Council and activities like what you are about to see on Saturday is to bring about an awareness, that is where it starts, bring about an awareness throughout this country that, listen, you know, together we’re an unstoppable force,” Mr Dames said.
“There are more Bahamians out there, overwhelmingly so, who are against what is taking place in this country: the social ills and crime.
“But we have to mobilise them.
“We have to demonstrate to them that the only way we are going to continue to improve the situation in this country is that we must stand as one.
“I commend and I applaud those communities who have embarked upon this process and who continued to give of themselves unselfishly day in and day out, all right, to be counted, to make a difference,” he added.
The country’s murder count stands at 12 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.