September 26, 2020

Gang links to murder victim

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Police are exploring the possibility that Tuesday night’s fatal close-range shooting of 28-year-old Robert Bush in West Bay was a gang-related retaliation for a July assault at a local nightclub.

No arrests have been made in the murder, near the junction of Captain Joe and Osbert Road and Birch Tree Hill Road, at 11:20pm as Mr Bush and a female companion, informally named as Mayra Ebanks, sat in a car in the Logwood neighbourhood.

“Robert Bush suffered a fatal gunshot wound while he sat in his car,” RCIPS Chief Superintendent John Jones said yesterday. “Emergency services received a phone call from a woman in the car. Ambulance and police services responded within five minutes. When they arrived, Mr Bush was in very serious condition and expired fairly quickly.

“Police set up a cordon and deployed crime scene examiners and search teams to search West Bay. We have set up a situation room and while the investigation is in its very early stages, we appeal for any witnesses who may have seen something of value or have information that may assist us,” he said.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Mr Bush suffered three gunshot wounds to his head and face, possibly fired by more than one gunman. Police would say only that he had “fatal injuries to the head”, claiming they “would be speculating” as to what kind of gun was used or how many shots were fired.

“We will confirm all this at the post-mortem,” Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said.

“We don’t think this was an accident,” Mr Jones said. “It is clear somebody had a motive. Absolutely, we are not ruling out that this was gang related. We are not saying, yes it is, but we are keeping an open mind.”

Mr Jones said Mr Bush had been arrested and charged with assault in a July incident at West Bay’s Club Inferno, and that he had been “involved” in the earlier murder of Alrick Peddie, but police were reluctant to draw any conclusions.

“It’s still in very early stage,” he said. “We have to confirm, and to inquire into that. Some of the incidents are linked, but we have no obvious suspects at this time.”

The Logwood area of West Bay is widely known as a hotbed for violence and gang activities, having witnessed a series of murders in recent years including Tyrone Burrell and Damian Ming.

Both Devon Anglin, recently acquitted of the February 2010 murder of 4-year-old Jeremiah Barnes, and still awaiting trial in the earlier nightclub murder of Carlos Webster, and Andy Barnes, father of Jeremiah and also in custody for unrelated offences, are also from that area.

“One would have thought that by now, with the amount of incidents in the area, that people would have been extremely alert to circumstances and report to the police so that they can take back that strip of the road,” Mr Bodden said.

“We had enjoyed almost a 12-month period without any fatal shootings,” Mr Jones said, “and we have done well to date with shooting murders.

“I am the first to accept, though, that robberies are at an unacceptable level, and we are working hard to bring those people to the courts.”

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