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Monday, February 6, 2023

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‘Humble, Respectful and Kindhearted’: Retired Teacher Mourns Man Killed by BB Gun

A former teacher of a man who was killed in an alleged accidental shooting over the weekend expressed fond memories of the victim.

Cleveland Ramsey who served as a principal and teacher in the Ministry of Education said Lavardo Fernander “was one of them in whom I was well pleased.”

“During my 19 years in education and 13 of my last years as principal, I have been afforded the opportunity to teach and help mold many outstanding men who are now making their contributions in their own unique ways in the Bahamas. Lavardo Ferguson was one of them.”

Ferguson, 37 was killed while enjoying a day with friends shooting canisters. A coworker’s BB-gun reportedly discharged while he was clearing the weapon and Ferguson was struck to his upper body and died on the scene.

“He was a hardworking young man who was destined for greatness,” Ramsey said of the married father of five children.

Another teacher Denise Hope said Ferguson was a “very respectful young man.”

Ferguson was expected to move to Eleuthera to begin a new job before the tragedy struck and cousin Valentino Williams remains shocked at his death since the two were just planning their birthdays in the Berry Island where they grew up and schooled.

After schooling, Ferguson worked as a boat captain, carpenter and cook.

Police said they are investigating the circumstances of his death and are questioning the 27-year-old coworker in regard to the alleged accident. But Ferguson’s mother Michelle Aranha told the Nassau Guardian that someone should be held accountable.

“They are saying it is an accident, but how can an accident cost me a child that I had for 37 years, leaving behind five children?… What is an accident going to do for them to be taken care of?

“But you can’t accidentally kill my son and just expect nothing to come out of it. That’s not fair to nobody.”

Deaths by BB guns are unusual in the Bahamas but Ferguson’s death proved fatal even though the rifle does not have the power of an automatic weapon.

A Coworker Is Quizzed After His BB Gun Killed a Man

Authorities have not yet determined if a man could face criminal charges over the fatal shooting of a coworker while clearing a BB gun.

The unidentified man in his 30s was enjoying a day shooting canisters with friends behind a building on Faith Avenue, when he was hit to the upper body by the pellets from the weapon, and died on the scene.

Friends and family gathered near the incident, hugging and consoling each other after the tragedy around 5 pm on Saturday.

Morticians carried the man’s body away from the scene.

Police have not identified the people involved but are questioning a 27-year-old man responsible for the killing.

The investigation remains open and active. No charges have been filed in regard to this incident.

Police cautioned that users should follow safety when clearing guns.

The BB gun identified as a high-powered rifle is designed to shoot projectiles and can be dangerous if it is not used properly.

Deaths by BB guns are unusual in the country but the man’s death proved fatal even though it does not have the power of an automatic weapon.

Police Catch Young Gunman Trying to Flee the Crime Scene After Murder

An 18-year-old gunman was apprehended Wednesday morning after he allegedly killed a man sitting on a front porch while visiting his family in Red Land Acres on Tuesday night. 

The gunman, a resident of Kennedy Subdivision was attempting to run away after shooting Robert aka Wong, but was intercepted by officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Robert was 32 years old and died on the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

Authorities are still looking for another man who helped the 18-year-old gunman. They ditched the getaway car, a black Suzuki Swift, in bushes near the scene of the crime and tried to escape before the young gunman was captured.

A cousin of Robert described him as “soft” and “innocent.”

“No Robby, no please tell me it’s a dream. [I’m] coming and hoping to see you when I come back in the hood to hail the family. How will I see my cousin’s soft and innocent smile again?” she lamented.

“He didn’t deserve this, not him. He had a head on his body not in the streets.”

A friend last saw him at the Christmas and New Year’s Day Junkanoo celebration.

Robert is seen in the featured picture

Horror Comes to Marshall Road Family–Husband Tied Up, Wife Raped During Home Invasion

A home invasion led to a rape and armed robbery early Sunday morning in a Marshall Road neighborhood, devastating a small family living in the Southern area of New Providence.

Though the police did not identify which of the family was attacked, CSJ Report understands the husband, wife and other relatives in the home were assaulted and attacked by three suspects who forced their way into the home and threatened the family with guns around five in the morning.

The three suspects robbed the family of money, then tied up the husband before raping the wife in the same room where the husband was held captive.

The suspects escaped after the brutal invasion. It is not known if the suspects left in a car or on foot but authorities are actively seeking their whereabouts.

It is also not known if the police are following any leads. However, in cases like this, police can use the semen left behind by suspects at the scene to find those in question.

The public was shocked to learn of the brazen attack, many expressed anger on social media.

Fredlean Delva said, “How could you rob someone and still be turned on enough to sexually assault a female? They need life in prison while eating dry bread.”

George Jones suggested, “No bail. Under the jailhouse.”

“When are the people in power going to really care about the people? No one is actually safe. Sitting ducks,” Laurence Arnett said.

And Lovely McIntosh said, “Your home is supposed to be your safe haven. These criminals [are] running the streets while law-abiding citizens are sitting ducks. We need guns too.

Police said no one was in custody as of Monday morning.

‘My Most Painful Moment’: A Sister is Grief Stricken Over the Loss of 43-Year-Old Jason Whitfield

Jason Whitfield was known for his dedicated work in the Passport office and his murder evoked strong emotions from his eldest sister.

Natika Whitfield said she identified his body after he was killed around 7 am on Saturday and described it as the “most painful” moment of her life.

“I just identified my baby brother,” she said on Monday. I hardly recognized him. That was the most painful twenty minutes of my life.”

She continued, “Just know that God neither sleeps nor slumbers.”

The 43-year-old, a senior clerk, was found shot to death in a government vehicle in the Garden Hills area during the early mornings. Natika and her father Dr Patrick Whitfield sought to put to rest speculations that may have arisen due to his line of work.

Natika said, “My brother couldn’t sign passports. He’s the reason plenty of y’all got your passports quickly. Remember all the praise y’all was giving the passport office?”

“If you know him, he’s a stand-up kind of guy. I have no reason to believe that he was anything else than what he portrayed,” Dr Whitfield told the Nassau Guardian.

Jason Whitfield is shown with his father Dr Patrick Whitfield, sister and other family members

He described a close relationship with his son stating that Whitfield often shared his problems and showed no indication that something may be wrong.

“If you know him, you know he was a very nice guy, always helping people,” his father said as he grappled with the loss.

“There was never any sort of indication that he was more than he showed to people, in terms of being very nice.”

Jason Whitfield is seen (in the aqua shirt) with family.

Friend Simon Allen agreed. “He was very helpful and pleasant, always a gentleman.”

Carron Ellis witnessed Whitfield’s love for his job. “I was just at the Passport Office and he assisted me simply by allowing me to apply for a first-time applicant even though they had already issued all the numbers for the day and it was still very early in the morning.

“Talk about the level of competence and compassion he brought to that place and not even looking for favors.”

Minique Alexandrea mourned, “He barely wanted to take a vacation or even downtime when not feeling well, worrying about people getting sorted out and meeting deadlines. He was at that office before and after his shift.”

Authorities have not reported a motive for the latest murder and have yet to make an arrest. They are asking the public for assistance.

The Latest Development in the Killing of German Man in South Andros

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.

What We Know and Still Don’t Know About the Killing of the German Man in South Andros

Though the murder rate is seemingly rising in the Bahamas, rarely are crimes directed toward foreigners.

On Wednesday around 8 pm, a German man was shot and killed in Kemp’s Bay, South Andros, while another German national was wounded during the attack.

Here’s a look at what we know, and still don’t know about the attack:

How it unfolded

The masked gunman approached three German men who were outside of their residence in Kemp’s Bay. He flaunted a gun, startling the men. They then ran inside the house but the gunman shot in the direction of the men, striking two of them.

The gunman ran away.

The wounded men were transported to the local clinic in the area but one man died. The other victim, shot in the shoulder, was airlifted to Nassau for medical help. His condition is serious.

Motive remains unknown

The suspect is on the loose. It is not known if he is a resident of the Kemp’s Bay settlement, if he is a resident of another settlement and traveled to Kemp’s Bay or if he traveled from Nassau to the island to commit the crime.

Authorities have not provided a motive for the shooting, or whether the attack was a random act. But detectives from Nassau will travel to the island on Thursday to investigate what happened.

Authorities did not reveal the name of the victims and whether or not the men were engaged in a project on the island, only that they lived at a “summer residence.”

Fears of safety growing

Andros is typically a serene island and free of crime, unlike Nassau.

The killing sent shock waves through the community and condemnation from its member of parliament. It underscores fears that violence is directed at family islands and foreign nationals, as Nassau grapples with the increase of guns and murders.

MP Leon Lundy said he is “shocked,” “angered” and “grieved.”

One Wanted Man is Linked to the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos

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.

Turks and Caicos Hit With More Murders Despite the Help of Bahamas Police

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.

The 7-year-old girl was injured from gunshots after her family was killed on Tuesday. Photo credit: Magnetic Media

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.

Turks and Caicos Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting met with Bahamas Commissioner Clayton Fernander

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.

Photo credit: TCIPF

Everything You Need to Know About the 42-Year-Old Woman Killed Before Dawn

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.”

She leaves behind her mother and father.