As he addressed the recent spate of murders in December, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson yesterday warned Bahamians to have fun this holiday season but be careful of the company they keep.
“I want the Bahamian public not to be fearful,” Ferguson told reporters outside police headquarters.
“I want the Bahamian public to go out, particularly in this season, and do your shopping.”
Pointing to the December 3 murders of Ashlee Hilton, 30, and George Neil Deveaux, 33, who were gunned down at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, Ferguson said, “I want to say to people that one has to be very careful of the company that you are in. I shall not go any further into that. Y’all are intelligent people.”
Deveaux was seeking physical therapy for injuries received during a shooting in August and police believe the assailants were waiting on him.
Ferguson said police are following significant leads in respect to that incident.
“Then we move onto another double shooting in Jubilee Gardens and I think that’s where the fear then would come in, because you had two persons shot and two persons die and then you had another two persons shot and two persons die,” he continued.
“Again, I say to members of this Nassau community and to The Bahamas at large, you have to be very careful of the company you keep; that goes for everybody. The police know a lot of things. The police is not at liberty to come out and investigate these matters in the press.
“…As your commissioner I can assure you that you are not targeted.
“All I say to you is you be very, very concerned with the company that you keep, or the company that you are in, and you should be relatively clear and safe.”
Less that 48 hours after the Sandilands shooting, two men were found shot dead in a vehicle in a driveway in Jubilee Gardens with the engine still running.
Ferguson said police are also following significant leads in this matter.
He further noted that police have the suspects in custody for the murder of 44-year-old Mario Cartwright, who was killed by robbers as he entered
Manda’s Variety Store on First Street, Coconut Grove.
As it relates to the shooting death of a man in the area of Fort Fincastle last week Tuesday, Ferguson said police have someone in custody who is providing them with information and is in a “good position” to wrap that matter up.
The commissioner of police once again emphasized that Bahamians, “know something about persons that we are in company with”, as he addressed the most recent double killing of James Johnson, 29, and Kevisha Kerika Richards, 24, in Joan’s Heights on Tuesday.
Ferguson said police also have the person responsible for this matter in custody and will be taking him to court shortly.
The murder count for The Bahamas for the year so far is 89. The count last year this time was 120, according to police.
The count climbed by 11 in 15 days this month.
Ferguson said police have not seen any connection with the recent matters.
“Let me assure the Bahamian public that there are lots of police officers out there, some in uniforms, some in plain clothes, and we’ll continue to protect them,” he added.
“…Y’all go out and enjoy yourself. Trust me, go out and enjoy yourself. You are not targeted. You heard it from me. I am telling you what we know.”
He added that while police have increased their patrol presence and are out in large numbers, it is impossible to prevent all murders from happening.
“We understand quite well that when you have one, two, three killings, it strikes fear and that is always the issue; not so much the numbers, but it’s the fear and we are doing everything we possibly can to reduce that fear of crime,” he said.