His remarks were made in light of the recent killing of Earl D. Hodge aka 'Bob' at his Hannah’s Estate residence on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, and businessman and horse owner Mr Rodney A. Simmonds, who was shot and killed at his Threadfall home on Friday, February 5, 2021. The body of Andrew J. Skerritt was found in Carrot Bay on the same day, and police are suspecting he shot himself.
Premier Fahie said the recent killings were discussed at the National Security Council and there will be a joint press statement coming from his office and the governor’s on the issue.
“We have to recognise as a territory that we cannot condone this type of action; none of us can condone this type of action, and we have to understand that this territory, the future is in our hands, and if we do not act responsibly to respect the legacy of our fore-parents what they have done for us to build this place, then we are saying that we have no regard for those who have built this territory.
"We have to learn to settle our differences in a different way; not through a gun, but through talking out, through conflict resolution and through handling things in a different way and we have to continue to be in prayer, we have to make sure that each parent take as much responsible to train their children that ‘look you have a responsibility as a citizen of this territory to keep the peace,’ he said during a press conference to roll out the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine.
He further said the security of the country does not solely rest in the hands of the Governor and the Premier.
“It is in every home, it is in every parent, it is in every mother, it is in every father, in every Godparent. The security of the country is in us to speak to each person to let them to know that there is another way to resolve matters other than using a gun and we have to continue to work hard to build our economy so that we would discourage these areas. But, until then we are not the only territory with economic challenges so we cannot resolve it through a gun. At the end of the day, a lot of families are crying, a lot of families now are hurting, a lot of families have lost their loved ones never to return,” he remarked.
“We have a zero-tolerance on gun crime and crime overall as a territory, as a government,” he added.
Meanwhile, Governor John J. Rankin, CMG said despite the recent crimes, “The Virgin Islands remain one of the safest places in this region but like everybody else, I was shocked by the lives lost by the use of guns here in the last few days.”
He said he would be lending his support to the law enforcement agencies to stamp out crime.
“In terms of drugs, I will be supporting the police, together with Customs and Immigration to secure our maritime borders and preventing illegal drugs coming into this country or the BVI being used as a transit port for the transfer of drugs internationally.”
“We all must play our part in tackling this scourge of guns and drugs,” he added.