Crime

Murder victim ‘ran for his life’

  • Police in the Deepdale area of Pembroke, after the murder of Morlan Steede on Friday evening (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A shooting victim “ran for his life” as he was chased through the back streets of Pembroke by a lone gunman.

Morlan Steede, a father of one and known to friends as “Clappa”, was shot several times on Two-Way Deepdale before collapsing in the middle of Parson’s Road on Friday night.

Police revealed yesterday that two local men had been arrested in connection with the Jamaican’s murder and confirmed they were looking at the possibility that the killing was related to a drugs feud.

A Pembroke man in his early twenties has since been released on police bail, while a Warwick man in his mid-twenties is still in custody.

Detective Sergeant Jason Smith told a press conference that Mr Steede was not known to police.

He added that, although he had been living in Hamilton Parish at the time of his death, he had close links to the Deepdale Road area.

Mr Smith said: “At the time of his death, Morlan Steede was 30 years of age, married and the father of a four-year-old daughter.

“At the time of this shooting, there were several area residents who were outside and witnessed this shooting as it unfolded.

“We are aware that there are several persons who recorded the events that unfolded, and their assistance is invaluable to this investigation.

“We are also aware that there is a motorcyclist who turned on to Two-Way Deepdale at the material time of this shooting and the motorcyclist would have witnessed the victim running for his life and the shooter chasing.

“We are also aware that there is a taxi that was travelling in a westerly direction along Parson’s Road and Two-Way Deepdale at the time of this shooting and would have witnessed this incident. We desperately want to hear from the driver of this taxi.”

Detectives added that there was no suggestion of a second firearm being used in the murder and revealed an off-duty officer performed CPR on Mr Steede at the scene.

Chief Inspector Na’imah Astwood, head of the Serious Crime Unit, said: “We have CCTV in the area for a reason — we have relied on the CCTV footage and it does feature in our investigation.”

Graphic footage of the aftermath of the murder shared on social media showed a chaotic scene, but Ms Astwood defended the actions of the officers who responded.

She said: “When police respond to any incident, our first priority is preservation of life. We are obviously worried about preservation of a crime scene and we will try to put up the cordon as quickly as possible.

“It’s important that in these situations people listen to police when they say move back.

“But we have to appreciate this is a close-knit community and emotions were high at the time.

“We appreciate that and take it into account. In situations like this people say and do things they would not normally do. We had a couple of fights.

“We did what we were trained to do — our first priority was to preserve life.”

It was at first reported that the gunman had been on a motorcycle, but police said he had been on foot.

The gunman ran off in an easterly direction towards Happy Dale Road.

Mr Smith said: “We are calling on you, the members of our community, to do your part in making Bermuda a safer place and bringing closure to the family of Morlan Steede.

“This was a senseless killing of a father and husband.

“Another young man has lost his life at the hands of another and justice demands that the shooter is prosecuted.”

Mr Steeds’s death marks the third gun killing and fifth murder of 2017.

Anyone with information on the murder should contact Inspector Michael Redfern on 247-1365 or Detective Sergeant Smith on 717-0864.

Calls can also be made to the anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline on 800-8477