FRIDAY, MAY 6: Young men are being shot because they are good-looking or talented — not because they are in a gang.

This is the belief of National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief, who said the current wave of gunmen are jealous “losers”.

The former police officer said many of the shooting victims of the last 10 months have not been linked to gangs and have been targeted because they were handsome or successful.

Mr Perinchief said: “Killers are now targeting people they are jealous of.

“It’s outright jealousy — they are taking down people they would like to be like. They are losers hitting out at people they cannot be like.”

Mr Perinchief believes the string of gang and drug-related shootings largely ended with the murder of Raymond Troy ‘Yankee’ Rawlins in August last year.

He said: “There was a lull and now we have started to see wannabe losers — a second wave looking to either make rank and impress people because their targets are certainly different from the others. That is what it looks like.

“Once we get these people in custody the community will see exactly what they are like.”

Since March, footballer Randy Robinson, clothing importer David Clarke and student Jason Smith, also a Bermuda Regiment solider, have all been murdered.

Mr Perinchief said: “This is why we have to get the weapons out of people’s hands as soon as we can.

“The gun is making them what they think is a man. That is where they are getting their power from.

“It definitely seems to be a power thing — the shooters are getting a rush out of it. It’s irrational, a new paradigm and taking this to a whole new level.”

Mr Perinchief said families are telling children who are studying abroad not to come home this summer due to fears they could get caught up in violence.

He added: “The last shooting, I phoned the parents of Jason Smith. I grew up with his father. This was a good guy, a young man not involved in any criminal behaviour.

“Under ordinary circumstances, he would never have died a death like this. It is a frightening thing — it shows the indiscriminate nature of gun crime in Bermuda and the shocking effect deaths like these have.”

Mr Perinchief, a former Assistant Police Commissioner, is convinced that some of the shooters this year have not committed serious crimes before.

He said: “The killers could be some baby-faced, clean-looking kid. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a hardened criminal.”