Police probe spate of firearms incidents

  • Stalking his target: in this still captured from a surveillance video, a man is shown walking west on Angle Street, in Hamilton, near the Ambiance Nightclub at about 3.45am on Saturday, shortly before he pulled a handgun, aiming at a group of men and pulling the trigger. The weapon did not discharge. The Bermuda Police Service has issued an appeal for witnesses (Photograph courtesy of the Bermuda Police Service)
  • Fire fight: Acting Detective Inspector Jason Smith highlights recent firearms incidents around Hamilton’s Court Street at a press conference in the area. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A string of gun incidents in North East Hamilton over recent months, including two this week, have “caused concern”, the Bermuda Police Service said yesterday.

Acting Detective Inspector Jason Smith highlighted that two firearms incidents had been reported in the Court Street and Angle Street area over the space of 72 hours this week.

The most recent incident happened at about 5.45pm on Wednesday near Bulldogs Bar on Court Street.

Mr Smith said: “Two men on a motorcycle approached the Bulldogs Bar and the pillion passenger was seen to enter Bulldogs, brandishing what appeared to be a firearm.”

He added another firearms incident happened near Ambiance Nightclub on Angle Street at about 3.45am last Saturday.

Mr Smith said that a man was seen to point what appeared to be a gun at a group of men in a car park.

He added: “Fortunately, the gun did not discharge.”

Police have CCTV footage of the incident that has been released to the public.

Mr Smith added that several people were in the area at the time.

Mr Smith said: “We want to hear from those persons. They might be able to shed some further light.”

He added: “The Bermuda Police Service is also aware that there appears to be feuding among groups of men that has resulted in these retaliatory and revengeful firearms incidents.

“The BPS is appealing to these men for calm and encourage them to desist from this threatening and intimidating behaviour.

Mr Smith added: “Innocent lives are at risk and this type of behaviour threatens the civility of the general public.”

Mr Smith said that police did not want to “go into the specifics” of the groups of men involved because they did not want to label the groups as gangs “at this stage”.

He added: “The investigation is developing. The information that is being received is also being developed and further analysed.”

Mr Smith said that three other gun incidents had taken place in the area over the past few months — on September 14, October 22 and December 22.

A 32-year-old man was injured after a gunman opened fire at a group of people outside the Spinning Wheel bar on Court Street last month.

Mr Smith said that the victim was still in hospital overseas.

He added: “His injuries are not deemed to be life threatening, however they are life altering.”

Two people have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Four men were arrested after multiple shots were fired outside the Spinning Wheel in September.

No one was injured in the attack.

Mr Smith said that police believed the three firearms incidents in September, October and December were linked.

He added: “Investigators are aware that there is CCTV footage circulating showing the shooter in these three incidents and investigators are appealing to the public who can recognise the shooter in the footage they have reviewed to make contact with police.”

Mr Smith said that information provided to police would be treated “in the strictest of confidence”.

He told potential witnesses: “We have ways of protecting their identity, but we need to hear from you.

The veteran detective added: “That is the most important message that we can give.

“It takes us working together to help solve the problems that we are dealing with.”

Waynes Caines, the Minister of National Security, did not respond to a request for comment on the firearms incidents yesterday.

Anyone with information that could help the police inquiries should contact 717-2345 or 717-0864 or use the confidential and anonymous Crime Stoppers line at 800-8477