A marine on Wednesday recalled the terrifying moment that an armed gunman shot at him and missed during his testimony.
Ellis Rahming identified the gunman as Jevon Seymour, another marine, who prosecutors have accused of murder and attempted murder.
Prosecutors allege that shortly after 2 a.m. on April 28, 2019, Seymour murdered Petty Officer Percival Perpall and attempted to murder Rahming and Calvin Hanna at Government House.
Seymour has denied the accusations at his trial.
The alleged victims worked in the military police unit that is responsible for providing security at Government House, Accident and Emergency, the U.S. Embassy and the Churchill Building, the court heard.
Rahming told the prosecutor, Terry Archer, that he reported for duty shortly after midnight for his shift that was scheduled to end at 8 a.m.
Rahming testified Perpall and Hanna were in the front workstation of the guardroom. He said he was on the couch in the rest room doing research on his laptop when he heard a loud explosion that he mistook for firecrackers.
He recalled, “The sound startled me a bit. I looked out of the window and then I looked forward. The door burst open and Jevon Seymour opened fire on me twice. I was shocked; I couldn’t move.”
The bullets missed Rahming, but his laptop and bag sustained gunshot damage.
He said, “I wasn’t hit at all, surprisingly.”
Rahming said Seymour was about four to five feet away and the lighting was good. Rahming said he saw Seymour for about five or six seconds.
When Rahming regained his composure, he bolted towards the bathroom. He was unarmed.
However, Marine Gaitor, who was on the bunk bed, had a 9mm pistol. Rahming said that Gaitor’s gun malfunctioned, and the rounds kept dropping out of the chamber, as he tried to shoot the assailant.
Eventually, Rahming left the shelter of the bathroom. He saw Perpall had been shot and was gasping for air.
Rahming said he called 911 and police and an ambulance arrived about 18 minutes later. The senior command of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force also arrived and kept the witnesses apart until they were questioned, he said.
According to Rahming, there are five entry points to Government House grounds, however, only two of them are generally in use.
The day after the shooting, Rahming said he went to the Criminal Investigation Department and picked Seymour out of a 12-man photo lineup. Rahming also identified Seymour in court.
Rahming said at the time of the shooting, he did not know Seymour’s name. They had never worked together.
However, Rahming claimed that he recognized Seymour from attending a club on East Bay Street. Rahming claimed that Seymour moonlighted as a security guard at the club, a practice that he said is “prohibited”.
In cross-examination, defense lawyer Murrio Ducille pointed that Rahming never told police that he was familiar with the gunman from their interactions at the club.
Rahming said at the time he didn’t think this was important.
Rahming was adamant that he knew Seymour from the club when Ducille said that his client had never worked as a security guard.
Seymour shouted from the prisoner’s dock, “Never!”
Rahming denied that he was lying.