Crime

An anguished plea: their lives matter

  • Let’s unite so we can unite our sons: Nicole Fox makes an impassioned plea for an end to gun violence after her son was shot multiple times at their St Augustine Hill, Pembroke home, on Thursday night. Ms Furbert’s older son, Ricco, was shot and killed in a store on Happy Valley Road in 2013, and she is desperate to prevent further violence, making a direct appeal to young men involved in violence and the authorities (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
  • Detective Sergeant Jason Smith, left, with Acting Detective Superintendent Arthur Glasford at a press conference over a firearm incident (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A tearful mother who has already lost a son to gun crime begged for help yesterday, after another of her children was shot and wounded in an attack at the family home.

Nicole Fox made an emotional plea for support, hours after her house in Pembroke was targeted.

She said: “I can’t bury another son.”

Ms Fox was speaking after a police appeal for information on the incident, which left her 22-year-old in hospital on Thursday night.

Ms Fox said: “I’m very disturbed right now. This has been the second time my home has been hit with bullets.

“Many of you can say you understand, but I don’t think you honestly do. This is a nightmare for a mother.”

She explained: “My son, Zackary Fox, was targeted in 2018 when 16 bullets hit my house.

“He didn’t get hit in that room that night. But I asked people in higher places, can you remove him out of the country until — because he has a case pending — and they said it’s not an option.

“So I asked, if you can secure him, and they told me, ‘no, we don’t have the funds’. So, for a year plus months, my son has been on curfew.”

Ms Fox added: “He’s never once broke his curfew ... everyone’s made mistakes and he’s made a few, but he’s always been a sitting target.

“Last night was the ultimate, because, this time, the bullets hit him.”

Ms Fox was wearing a T-shirt bearing images of another son, Ricco Furbert, who was shot dead in a double murder inside the Belvin’s Variety store on Happy Valley Road in January 2013.

She explained that she had worked to combat gun violence.

The co-leader of Mothers on a Mission Bermuda, a support group for women affected by violent death, said: “I need help from the system. I need you guys. I need help from the police.

“I know you guys are doing the best you can but, sometimes, if you could just push a little harder, in every area.

“I’m just asking for a little bit more. Step outside the box because staying in this little box that you all are in, it’s not working.”

She added: “Look at it as if it was your child. What would you do for your child?

“How can you save your son from this if he was in it? This is a cry, a plea from not just me, but from probably many mothers.”

Ms Fox said she feared for the welfare of her son.

She added: “He’s tough, but that’s the persona he has; no one knows the real Zackary but me. I’m his mother.

“I see his tears, I see his pain and I see his struggle.”

Ms Fox said she was the “rock” of her family, but that she felt weak yesterday.

She added: “I’m broken today.”

Ms Fox said: “Our lives matter, these young black boys’ lives matter.

“Whether they are the ones holding the gun or the one receiving the bullet, their lives matter.”

She told other mothers: “Let’s pull together.

“Let’s unite so we can unite our sons, because if the mothers can’t unite, how do we expect our boys to?”

Detective Sergeant Jason Smith said earlier that police officers responded to a report of gunshots on Happy Valley Lane at about 7.16pm on Thursday.

He added: “It was subsequently confirmed that a firearm was discharged in the area and that a 22-year-old male received injuries as a result. The victim was taken to hospital, was treated for his injuries ... and he was later discharged.”

Mr Smith said police wanted to hear from witnesses or people who saw anything suspicious in the area of Happy Valley Lane or Tribe Road Number 3 in Pembroke around the time of the incident.

He added: “We are also interested in persons and members of the public that would have seen two persons on a motorcycle acting suspiciously in and around the area.”

The detective said that there was still an open investigation into the earlier incident at the house, which happened in September 2018.

He added: “Certainly it is concerning for us that the same residence has been shot at twice.”

Anyone with information that could help the inquiry should contact Detective Sergeant Jason Smith on 717-0864 or call the main police number 295-0011. Tips can also be passed on at the confidential and anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline on 800-8477