Leon Griffin, the husband of former Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin, was shot dead in front of his home in Winton Meadows last night.
While police did not identify him, multiple members of the government did.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Audley Peters said police received reports of gunshots shortly before 8 p.m. on Roberts Street in Winton Meadows in eastern New Providence. When they arrived, they met a man who was in his early 70s slumped over in a vehicle in front of a home, Peters said.
He said the victim was shot in the head.
Peters said the victim’s wife made the gruesome discovery. He said police did not have a motive and appealed to anyone with information to contact them at 919. Police were busy canvassing the community last night.
In a statement late last night, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said, “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.”
Several politicians visited the scene, including former Progressive Liberal Party Cabinet Minister Shane Gibson, Minister of Immigration Keith Bell and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell, among others.
Gibson said, “I am completely lost for words. Me and Melanie go way back. We were elected the first time together back in 2002, served in two Cabinets, served for 15 years in Parliament together. Just to watch her tonight and her daughter and stepdaughters and look and see what they are going through, I mean it is just heart-wrenching.
“Anytime something like this happens, it is just so sad. Just to see it in this season, you know it’s supposed to be the festive season; everybody is looking forward to Christmas in two days.
“I just had to come here. I was at a function tonight…Melanie and I sat together in Parliament, we sat together in Cabinet, so we had a special bond. I can’t express how I feel right now. I’m just numb.”
Former Prime Minister Perry Christie, who was also at the scene, said Griffin and her husband “didn’t deserve this”.
“She called me very early on when she was here alone with her daughter having heard the shot and gone outside and seen her husband,” Christie said.
“It was very, very tragic…Melanie and her husband didn’t deserve this but it has happened and it is another example of the great challenge that we have in the country.
“It is a time for us to share in the anguish of the occasion and to hope that the authorities in the country are able to bring a resolution to the matter.”