Two men were arrested in South Andros for the murder of the German man killed on Wednesday night.
The men were bought to Nassau on Friday morning after police arrived in the quiet settlement of Kemp’s Bay to investigate the case.
The men, seemingly in their 20’s, were shackled at the wrist and dressed casually, appearing oblivious as they walked the tarmac. One stared into the camera lens as he made his way to CDU for further questioning.
The man, 57-year-old Torsten Wilhelm Hendrick of Geretsried Amselweg, Germany was with two other German nationals when the masked gunmen approached them while they were outside of their summer residence in Kemp’s Bay.
The gunmen flaunted a gun, startling the men. The man ran inside the house when the gunmen fired shots, striking two of the men.
For one day, police canvassed the island and spoke to residents of the area who promised to turn over anyone connected to the case since Hendrick and his family were frequent visitors to the island for more than 30 years.
Residents said they were fond of Hendrick and grieved the loss.
The police force in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos are looking for one man who is wanted in each country for murder, drugs and firearm offences.
Brandon Rahming, a 33-year old is wanted by the Royal Bahamas Police Force for drugs and firearms and his last known address is listed as Turks and Caicos.
But he is also wanted in the British Territory of Turks and Caicos for murder, drugs and firearm. The RTCIPF believes that his last known address is a local area, The Bight Providenciales and Freeport, Grand Bahama in the Bahamas.
Rahming is known to frequent the Dock Yard and Kew Town in Turks and Caicos, which have become synonymous with crime.
As the crime wave heightens there, on Tuesday morning, a family was the latest victim of murder in the Dock Yard. A man and woman were found in a car, shot to death. The youngest victim, a 3-year-old boy later died from the gunshots and a 7-year-old girl was wounded during the attack.
Last week Saturday, another man was shot in the crime hotspot area.
Why it matters
Officers from the Bahamas went to Turks and Caicos to help fight crime in the British territory. It was speculated that criminals may be traversing between the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, though authorities have not presented that information to the public.
But on Saturday, Turks and Caicos Commissioner Trevor Botting met with Bahamas Commissioner Clayton Fernander to discuss deepening the relationship between the two countries.
Rahming is described as 5 feet, 7 inches of slim build. If you see him, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 242-328-8477.
Despite a force bolstered with officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Turks and Caicos continue to grapple with crime, including a triple murder in which a 3-year-old boy was killed.
The British territory reached out to the Bahamas for assistance when 15 killings in five weeks rocked the British Territory. But has much improved since the arrival of 24 Bahamian police officers?
The latest murders occurred early Tuesday morning when a man, woman and child were discovered in a car in the Dock Yard area. The fourth victim, a 7-year-old girl who survived the attack, was found bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound. She is receiving medical care for her injuries.
Turks and Caicos Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said his team and officers from the Bahamas and UK are investigating the “vicious, barbaric act” committed by the “heartless” criminals.
“They do not care about life,” he said.
On Monday, a man was found dead in the area of Parker’s Yard, Blue Hills, killed by gunfire.
And Sunday, a woman was shot while driving her vehicle in Millenium Heights, Blue Hills. Another vehicle stopped her and shot into her car. She was treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder.
Last week Saturday, another man was shot in the Dock Yard area. He survived the gun attack and was treated for the injuries.
And last Wednesday, one man died on the scene where he and another man were found bleeding profusely suffering from gunshot wounds in the vicinity of James Stubbs, Leeward Highway. The surviving victim sustained injuries to the left side of his body.
In October when a US tourist was killed while in a vehicle returning from an excursion, Botting summed it up that the killings were connected to an ongoing gang feud.
As the British territory’s murder rate spirals out of control, Botting met with Commissioner of Police Clayton Fernander on Saturday in the Bahamas, to further deepen relations with the RBPF, he said.
Turks and Caicos’ murder count now stands at 32 for the year.
The death of a second woman killed by gun violence in the early morning hours on Monday just before dawn, was shocking. Authorities later revealed that the 42-year-old woman was a banker who was shot in the head and back after she was beckoned outside of her house on Johnson Road by a phone call from her cell phone.
Patrice Sawyer was the only daughter of her parents and suffered the loss of her only brother 6 years ago in the area where they lived.
Who was Patrice Sawyer?
Sawyer was an employee of Commonwealth Bank and was a Certified Fraud Examiner, receiving her certificate in June. In 2020, she joined the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) which is considered the world’s largest anti-fraud organization, seeking fraud-fighting skills.
“I remember joining ACFE in September 2020 with intentions of sitting and passing my exams in three months. It seemed like every time I started, I lost focus. Life happens. We lose momentum but never give up. Proud of me. Another one under my belt and one more to go,” she posted to social media earlier in the year.”
The member of Bahamas Harvest Church was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in 2009, which is known to cause infertility, ovarian cyst, irregular periods and weight gain.
Sawyer said her condition improved with the help of a good doctor, supplements and support from her spouse.
“It’s not a death sentence and everything they said I couldn’t do…I did…Every time I’m in my mood my husband asks ‘Think your PCOS acting up?’” she joked.
Sawyer also started a business called Body Blush where she made soaps, hair products and oils from natural ingredients.
In tribute to her brother 32-year-old Percy Sawyer was also killed by gun violence in 2016, she lamented, “They took you away but our bond and love they could never…Your love and fun times I will always cherish.”
The mother of the 22-year-old Jamaican woman killed on Friday night said her daughter was not a part of a gang but was a casualty of a gang war in the neighbourhood.
Mother Natanya Greene told Jamaican media that Tadasha Sears was standing on her porch at an apartment complex in Red Land Acres when a gunman killed her.
“It’s a gang-related incident…she was just innocently sitting on her mother’s couch on her tablet, she wasn’t no part of no gang”.
Greene told the Tribune she was at home when the shooting occurred after 11 pm. She said Sears came to her and said, “Mommy I got shot.” Greene then called emergency services and reassured her that she would be okay to which Greene replied, “Okay mommy.”
But she later died.
Green said she discovered her daughter was shot in the leg and stomach.
“This avenue right here is a target against (the) avenue down there. There’s a set of boys who are down there based in Pinewood. They have rival with boys that be up here on this hill,” she said.
“This is an open yard. I can’t tell people don’t come in the yard. When I’m in my room, I don’t know who is be out here. I don’t know what people be in this yard from all over.”
“So they came and when they came they didn’t see no males. So, they just walk up and open fire on her.”
Greene said officers offered her support. “They’ve been here and they are aggressively honest to bring who’s responsible [to justice]”.
The trial of Donna Vasyli is back on as prosecutors believe she has a case to answer. They believe she is responsible for the death of her husband Dr Philip Vasyli, who was found dead on March 24, 2015 in the kitchen of their home in Old Fort Bay.
Though a date has not yet been set, nine jurors have been selected and she will stand before Justice Bernard Turner.
Who was Philip Vasyli?
Philip Vasyli, 59, was a well-known Australian podiatrist who was the founder of Vasyli International, later changed to Vionic Group. He invented a line of orthotics known as Orthaheel in 1991 and was from the city of Sydney. He owned two homes in Old Fort Bay, Nassau Bahamas and established a medical office in Old Fort Bay Towne Centre.
Philip established three sports podiatry clinics in Sydney and was known to friends as a ‘born healer’.
Friends said he had a passion for making orthotic treatment more affordable and accessible to people in need of pain relief.
The orthotic technology is used in shoes and inserts sold in 25 countries including the USA and the UK.
What happened in 2015
The doctor was found stabbed to death in his Old Fort Bay home. Philip was found lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the guesthouse kitchen. A single stab wound was found in the chest, estimated to be 14 centimeters deep.
The pathologist said the knife cut his sub-clavian artery. It was likely he was stabbed while sitting on the patio, and then he stumbled into the kitchen where he died. A worker found him seven hours later.
What happened at Donna Vasyli’s Defense Trial
Donna, married to Philip for 34 years, was charged with his murder but her defense team never admitted guilt only claiming that the marriage was in ruins caused by domestic abuse and Phil’s alcohol and cocaine abuse.
Donna was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
However, her sentence was squashed in 2017 by justices in the Appeals Court. She was released and ordered a new trial.
Vasyli then went to the highest court, the Privy Council to appeal the justices’ decision.
Her first retrial order was squashed and was ordered a new appeal. She was eventually granted a new trial. The final decision was made and she was ordered to stand trial for her husband’s death.
Turks and Caicos Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said he is delighted for the assistance of 24 Bahamian police officers who are helping the British territory fight crime which arose to frightening levels in recent weeks.
Headed by Ken Strachan, the officers arrived last-week, and were deployed throughout TCI, conducting operations within the streets and communities.
“They are committed, experienced and ready,” Botting said in a press conference on Monday.
Two canines from the Bahamas also joined the fight against crime.
Botting said he believed their presence will make an impact on TCI.
The United Kingdom is expected to send a large contingent of investigators to TCI where they will remain for 2 years to establish an anti-gang unit.
The big story
TCI is facing an increase in gang related crimes and last week, crime hit a new level when an American tourist was killed when armed criminals shot into a vehicle carrying local staff and tourists to their resort after an excursion. A TCI local also died.
When officers responded, they came under fire and an officer was shot during the ordeal. But officers managed to shoot one of the suspects who was found dead sometime later. Another US tourist was injured during the attack and the officer remains in serious condition.
Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor said the root of the violence stem from a gang war between Jamaican and Haitian gangs whose leaders were recently killed.
“Not everyone killed has been involved in criminality—But it is also true that many who have been murdered have been linked to criminality and a spiral of reprisal killings, to avenge innocent as well as criminal victims, has been the result.”
A family was ripped apart at the hands of a man who was being electronically monitored when he killed a father and his mother on Friday in Kemp Road.
And the wife of the man killed is overwhelmed with grief as she envisioned life raising her sons without their father and grandmother.
The wife Shana McPhee described her husband Bertram as her heart. “I was your Bonnie and you were my Clyde.” She said despite the challenges the couple faced, Bertram “always had my heart.”
“The past two years were rocky, but nonetheless, you knew I loved you,” she said.
Bertram and his mother Bernadette Tynes died when police said Kevon Brown, 31, a man who was on bail for murder and being electronically monitored, shot the pair in the vicinity of their home Friday morning, after an argument.
It is believed Bertram and Bernadette who both worked at Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, knew the assailant.
“My question is, ‘Why?’” Though Shana was separated from her husband, she said, “We were still basically family.”
They met in 2001 and later married in 2017.
Shana said Brown took away the two people her sons loved and cherished.
“I found letters both of them wrote to their dad telling him in spite of the situation, they loved him and they appreciate their bicycles he bought them. And, how they missed him and wanted him to come back home.
“They would never again hear that loud voice from their Grammy saying ‘Looka Grammy babies.’
“You took away my kids’ world and I will never forgive you for that.”
Brown removed his ankle monitor after the killing and remains on the run. Police are appealing to the public to help locate him.
The bus driver killed on Tuesday during his routine drive has been identified as 32-year-old Giovanni Lafleur.
Lafleur made a stop on his number 15 bus on Florida Court, Robinson Road, to allow passengers to exit when the suspect got up from his seat and approached the driver and shot him in the head.
The driver died on the scene.
A 16-year-old boy sustained injuries during the ordeal and was hospitalized.
Who was Giovanni Lafleur?
Lafleur was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court in 2015 for the murder of Luternier Excelus.
He was also charged with the attempted murder of three others: Stephon Bastian, Denario Andrews and Frederick Morley.
Court documents say Lafleur shot Excelus while he played a game of dominoes on Matthew Street, Nassau Village. He pulled up with other occupants in a red Kia jeep and fired gunshots into the group. Excelus was shot in the left side of his chest and died.
Lafleur then with other men on the same night, shot into another group of men standing on Butler Street, Nassau Village, wounding the three men.
It took nearly a month before he was caught after an islandwide manhunt.
In a video, the 16-year-old injured during the shooting is seen holding his head with a bloodied white shirt as blood drips down his back. He hits the bus window on the driver’s side of the bus and shouts to Lafleur, “Wake up bey.”
Police are asking anyone with information to contact CDU at 502-9991/2.