Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews last night confirmed that police officers were near the bar in Long Look when Franklyn Fahie was shot dead on January 6, and that one suspect has been held in relation to the murder.
He however said no charge has been laid.
Sources had told BVI News Online that members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) were outside the bar operated by Fahie, and that they reportedly watched helplessly as the masked gunman exited the business establishment and disappeared into the darkness.
The officers were on patrol when they got wind of something untoward happening at the bar.
Commissioner Matthews, in a community meeting at Long Look last night, said one of the officers actually pursued the gunman.
“During the savage killing of Mr Fahie here in East End, police were on the scene right outside when that incident happened. Why? Because there were extra armed patrols that we put on, because we wanted to give that level of reassurance, and we could see that there were one or two offenders living in the communities.”
“One of my officers even tried to give chase to that armed offender. We were there and an officer went out on foot looking for that armed offender straight away,” Commissioner Matthews told a relatively small gathering during a community meeting at The Stickett in Long Look last evening, January 16.
He did not say if the police officers who saw the gunman were armed.
The community meeting last evening was held to discuss – among other things – two murders and an attempted murder that unfolded in the Long Look community over the past three months.
In relation to the murder of Fahie, BVI News Online previously reported that a young man from Purcell Estate was taken into custody for questioning.
Police were cagey about that information until last evening when the commissioner admitted that a suspect was held.
He continued: “We haven’t charged anybody yet, but we have strong leads in that particular investigation, and we will work night and day to find that cold-blooded killer. But when we arrest people and send them back out, it simple means we haven’t got enough evidence yet, but we often know they have carried out the crime.”
Commissioner Matthews further told the criminals at large that he has information about them, and they should be on alert.
“I can tell you that there are unsolved murders in this territory where we are fully aware of who we think the most likely suspect of those murders are. And, if any of those people who know they did it are listening to me on any radio broadcast or any subsequent publication, start looking over your shoulders because I’m serious. We know the names of some of these people; we know where they live. We just haven’t got the evidence yet.”
The police commissioner, in the meantime, noted his concern that members of the community know the culprits but remain silent.
“We need you to speak up and say what you know,” he said. “Somebody knows who’s doing this and, by saying nothing, you are protecting them. I say worst to those who say nothing; you are condoning murder, robbery, and serious crime. Do not condone it by turning a blind eye. We must catch these killers and robbers.”
“I believe there are people even now who maybe just have a small piece of information that will help us with Mr Fahie’s killer. And we need to find him because he’s a dangerous individual and he needs to be brought in,” added Commissioner Matthews.
In the meantime, community member Sharie deCastro, who recently launched a social media campaign dubbed ‘One Is Too Much’ in light of Fahie’s murder, blamed community members for the upsurge in crime.
“It absolutely baffles me how we don’t know who is committing these crimes. We can’t put this on the police because, if the police don’t have valuable information to go and seek out these people, then we can’t expect them to go and catch them,” she said at the meeting.
“Blame is a strong word but I blame us as a community, because I believe that we have seen a significant decrease in the moral fibre and values of our culture and heritage in the Virgin Islands,” deCastro further said.
Meanwhile, other officials who attended the meeting last evening include Leader of Opposition Julian Fraser, Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering, and District Eight Representative Marlon Penn.
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