Mr. Michael Matthews, Commissioner of Police speaking to members of the media, March, 2017
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
The police force is seeing an emergence of rival gangs positioning with firearms; however, there is no concrete evidence thus far that this recent development is linked to any of the recent homicides.
"There is no doubt about it that we are seeing evidence emerging that on occasions, rival gangs are squaring up to each other on occasions in the Territory and that is connected to the use of firearms," Mr. Michael Matthews, Commissioner of Police told reporters yesterday, March 16.
He added, "I wouldn’t be in a position to say categorically at this stage whether any of the fatal shootings are categorically linked to gang violence."
The Top Cop also said that his position on the two gangs he named last year, SOB and Zone6, remains the same.
Meanwhile, in relation to the two homicides last week, Matthews said that they have suspects in the cases. He also said that they arrested and then released one person in connection with one of the incidents.
"We have a number of lines of inquiry we are pursuing in both cases. It would be inappropriate of me to sort of specify what those lines of inquiry are, but I can confirm that we do have suspects in both cases; we have made arrest in one particular case, but it is still a very, very early stage," he said.
On Friday morning, March 10, the body of Alston Penn, 39, was found in a pool of blood on the Windy Hill road. Initial reports suggested that he received a deadly blow to the head with a rock.
Later that evening, Ashburn Dawson, 30, died in a hail of gunshots in the area of the Sunday Morning Well.
Following the two incidents, an attempt was made on a young man’s life at a Car Rental on Waterfront Drive. However, according to reports, the firearm jammed.