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UPDATED: Leon Griffin, husband of Melanie Griffin, shot dead in suspected robbery

THE BODY of Leon Griffin is removed from the scene last night. Photos: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

THE BODY of Leon Griffin is removed from the scene last night. Photos: Donavan McIntosh/Tribune Staff

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Leon Griffin

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FORMER Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin, pictured at the launch of Glenys Hanna Martin’s PLP leadership bid in 2017.

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FORMER Prime Minister Perry Christie at the scene after paying his respects.

LEON Griffin, the husband of former Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin, died last night after being shot in the head in a suspected robbery outside the family’s home.

Mr Griffin, former president of the Bahamas Taxicab Union, was found slumped over in his vehicle by his wife, the former Yamacraw MP, shortly before 8pm outside their home on Roberts Street in Winton Meadows.

In a statement last night, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, who is in quarantine after exposure to a positive COVID-19 case, said he would use all of the country’s resources to bring a resolution to this “heinous” crime.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the brutal homicide of Leon Griffin, the husband of my colleague and friend in front of their home tonight. I express my condolences to Melanie, his children and the wider family.

“I ask for our supporters and all citizens across the length and breadth of our country to pray for the repose of his soul, to pray for Melanie and the family.

“I pledge to use all the resources of the state to resolve this heinous crime,” Mr Davis said.

At the scene, police press liaison officer Assistant Superintendent Audley Peters said the incident appeared to be a robbery, however he stressed that police could not conclusively say this was the motive at this stage in the investigation.

Several high-profile members of the Progressive Liberal Party visited the Griffin home last night, including former Prime Minister Perry Christie, former Labour Minister Shane Gibson, and Minister of State for Education Zane Lightbourne, along with other party members and government officials.

It was a sombre scene outside the home, which was illuminated by holiday lights, as the shooting occurred just two days before Christmas.

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Tweet from PM

A group of onlookers also gathered as police processed the scene, watching as a tow truck came to tow away what appeared to be the victim’s car.

ASP Peters said shortly before 8pm, police received information of a shooting in the Winton Meadows neighbourhood.

Once police arrived at the residence, officers found a male in his early 70s slumped over in a vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head. EMS pronounced him lifeless at the scene.

Asked if the shooting appeared to be motivated by theft, ASP Peters said: “It appears to be a robbery, because all the evidence is gearing towards that but we cannot say that conclusively. . .”

He did not know if the victim was arriving or leaving home when he was shot, but revealed that the victim’s wife found the deceased and called the police.

Mr Christie spoke to reporters briefly as he came out of the Griffin residence. He said Mrs Griffin was alone at home with her daughter when she heard the gunshot.

“She called me very early on when she was alone here with her daughter, heard the shot, ran outside and (saw) her husband. It was a very tragic occurrence at this time of the year. . .Melanie and her husband didn’t deserve this.

“It’s another example of the great challenge we have in the country of being able to deal with issues of criminality as it manifests itself.

“So it’s a time for us to share in the anguish of the occasion and to hope the authorities of the country are able to bring a resolution to this matter,” Mr Christie said.

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FORMER PLP MP Shane Gibson addressing the media last night.

For his part, Mr Gibson, former Golden Gates MP, told reporters the incident had left him “numb”.

“I am completely lost for words right now. Me and Melanie go way back, we were elected for the first time together in 2002, served in two Cabinets, served for 15 years in Parliament together and just to watch her tonight and her daughter and her step-daughters and to look and see what they are going through, it’s just heart wrenching. Anytime something like this happens it's just so sad, but just to see it happen this season. . .everybody looking forward to Christmas in two days and (to) have something like this happen, it is just heart wrenching,” Mr Gibson said.

Mrs Griffin served in Parliament until her defeat in the 2017 general election.

ASP Peters said police are canvassing the area for CCTV footage that can assist the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 502-9991, Crime Stoppers at 328-TIPS (8477) or the nearest police station.

Comments

John 9 months, 1 week ago

A former Minister of National Security said that the general public should feel safe as most of the crime was about one set of bad boys ( gangs) warring with another set. These sentiments were echoed be the top brass of the police force. Today the target of crime is the general public and no one is excluded. Sadly so. And a lot of what is happening is not making the news. Maids are being assaulted and robbed on their way to work and so are gardeners. How much money will these people have on their person, going to or coming from work? And vehicles are being broken into or parts are being stolen lie nobody’s business. And now these heinous murders of senior citizens. Regardless of the motive. The question then is what plans do Brave Davis, Wayne Munroe Paul Rolle and others responsible have to bring this new crime wave under control. Many were sickened and outraged after viewing a video of a recent robbery, where one of the culprits slapped his victim around and manhandled her in other ways. And the question must be raised, how much of a threat does a 70 year old man pose to a robber that was obviously armed. So much so that the victim had to be shot in the head? Let’s take the PM’s word that none of the country’s resources will be spared in solving this crime, and hopefully,all the others like it that left families in shock and grieving. Condolences.

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Cobalt 9 months ago

Shut ya stupid f#%king ass!! You’re the same one who is always lamenting and advocating for these criminal, gun-toting, scum whenever the police shoots them dead!! Now you want to offer condolences when an upstanding, dignified member of our community is senselessly murdered by these animals!?!?! You talk out of both sides of ya shitty mouth!! Go ta hell!! And take these shit face, monkey face bastards with you!! Piece of shit!

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

John's comment is well thought out and is in no way contradictory to asking police to stop exdcuting black men in the street even if they commit a crime. And there is clearly a difference between how a black man with a gun vs a white man with a gun is treated. I didnt even know we had police negotiators until that white man showed up with a gun in Abaco. The armed forces do not have the authority to hand down verdicts.

Your anger is excessive and clearly generated by something other than interaction here since the unvaccinated abd God knows who else are also beneficiaries of the venom, it should be directed at a system that has filled the top levels of every govt ministry with incompetence such that we cant get convictions on the most clear cut of cases due to police real or "by design" incompetence

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ThisIsOurs 9 months, 1 week ago

Shot to the head? Who knows what happened, but a shot to the head is often viewed by law enforcement as a message to someone. I hope we get better investigators on this case than we had for Joyelle and her son. Werent this couple just in a serious dispute over an inventory of luxury jewelry?

Yes. July 22 2021 Tribune:

A local luxury goods retailer is locked in a furious $34m legal battle with an overseas supplier who is asserting that the dispute threatens “to ruin the name of The Bahamas” if not resolved. .....

Justice Loren Klein, though, has yet to rule on his application. And Mr Daryanani told Tribune Business that the pressure from his own suppliers, who are demanding that he either return their goods or pay them for what Treasures Bahamas has sold, means he is just days away from filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.

He is claiming that the local franchise, headed by Leon Griffin, former Bahamas Taxi Cab Union president and husband of ex-Cabinet minister, Melanie Griffin, together with the Treasures International LLC franchisor, have breached an October 2, 2019, agreement governing their three-way relationship and the supply of luxury goods on consignment by Mr Daryanani to the Bahamian retailer. ....

“I’m at the breaking point of going belly up. I’m at the last straw. It’s forcing me to maybe file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,” he said. “I’ve not been paid $1 since March last year. They’ve refused to return the goods to suppliers, gave me no access to the stores, and I’ve not been paid or had access to the goods to take an inventory count.

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realfreethinker 9 months, 1 week ago

i was just saying a shot to the head while sitting in a car doesn't sound like a robbery gone wrong

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ThisIsOurs 9 months, 1 week ago

Unrelated but generally speaking, plenty goes on in this little country involving plenty money and we overlook it or fail to connect the dots because someone gives us a bag of groceries or pays us 500 dollars to get a COVID vaccine. This is why I think the carnival story is more than a carnival.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months, 1 week ago

"Asked if the shooting appeared to be motivated by theft, ASP Peters said: “It appears to be a robbery, because all the evidence is gearing towards that but we cannot say that conclusively. . .”

Not sure but seems like an open and close case already. "all the evidence is gearing towards that?

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bahamianson 9 months, 1 week ago

Gearing towards what? A man was found with a gunshot to the head in his car....how did they know if anything was stklen? His car was certainly not stolen. The PM should use all the country's resources to solve all murders . All citizens are important. And as a matter of fact, the citizens vote you in, not your collegues. How does a cabinet minister and a union leader get their hands on millions of luxurh goods? How does that work? I need to know because i need a company to partner with me also, but I dont have a cabinet position to get close to rich people. Only cabinet ministers deserve to make it in life, I guess.

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realfreethinker 9 months, 1 week ago

i doubt anyone will be charged with this "robbery"

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quietone 9 months, 1 week ago

I strongly believe that one of the best things that can be done to stop or to reduce serious crimes in our Bahamas is to find a method to STOP illegal guns from entering this country... for what I have seen and experienced in my 87 years on this earth, I strongly believe that most or many of us with a gun, would be strongly attempted to use it to take a person's life... will continue to write about this... after a while, many would probably agree with me... we are likely experiencing those perilous times Jesus spoke about in Matthew chapter 24 ...
I spoke about this same situation4.a number of times... will continue to speak about it ... could never forget that about 25 years ago I strongly felt like taking a person's life and somehow felt extremely okay about doing it if I had owned a gun... About an hour after that I went home, sat down in my bath room and cried myself almost to death, while praying and feeling extremely bad and angry with myself for seriously wanting to take the life of another human being!!!

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bahamianson 9 months ago

I respectfully disagree. It has been said over and repeatedly , Cane dis not kill Abel with a gun. I own a legal gun , my brother owns a legal, my father owns a legal gun and has owned it for over 50 years. We have not shot anyone . A car is not going to run over someone. A person has to drive the car in order for it to run over someone. Guns do not kill people , people kill people.

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quietone 9 months ago

Bahamianson, could well be I did not express myself clearly... if you own a gun and its legal, that is quite all right... persons owning guns legally are respectible decent minded people... but if one owns a gun that he/she got illegally, I tend to think they could well be criminally minded...l will word my original statement much better..

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Could his be, or not be, connected to de August murder outside a home on Village Road and everything else like this and that, ― Yes?

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

if it was the business partner

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

Wait..are you saying the business partner was also shot in the head?

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TalRussell 9 months ago

Or so leads be apparently so. De house looks be fortified, ― Yes?

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BONEFISH 9 months ago

The police's premise of this incidence being a robbery doesn't add up. There is something else deeper to this matter .Like some one said previously, a lot of things are covered up in this country.

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