Matthew Hazel, at the High Court, March 28, 2017
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
Matthew Hazel, who is accused of attempted murder and robbery, in an incident which involved a shootout with a police officer, claims that he stopped at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park in an attempt to secure money from a nearby ATM, and in search of a burger, when he was shot.
"I went to the ATM (CIBC) and I saw people running, so I started to run. I felt like a shot hit me; I got shot…I touched my head and felt like it was bleeding. I continued to run towards the highway," Hazel told police in a cautioned interview on February 24, 2015.
Hazel, 25, a native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and a Belonger, is on trial charged with attempted murder, attempted robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
The charges are in connection with the 12:05 am February 16, 2015 foiled robbery outside CIBC First Caribbean Bank. At the time, Sergeant Dorville Carty was about to deposit $28,342.08 for OneMart Supermarket.
According to the crown, during the incident, Hazel, who was at the time employed at the bank as a bank ambassador and receptionist, pounced on the police officer where gunshots were exchanged. The officer then pursued Hazel through the streets, where it is believed that he got shot more than once.
The assailant managed to elude the officer.
During the testimony of the investigating officer, Detective Jumo Shortte yesterday, March 28, the video interview with Hazel was played before the nine member jury.
During the interview, Hazel told police that he came to the BVI when he was three months old, and lived with his mother at Paraquita Bay.
The young man related that on Sunday, February 15, 2015, he borrowed his friend's vehicle, a maroon/champagne coloured Suzuki Grand Vitara to go to the pit for cock fighting. He said that he returned home around 7:00 pm and about 15-30 minutes later, he left for town.
Hazel claimed that he drove around in Road Town and then went in search of something to eat. He said that he drove in the area of Bobby's supermarket in an attempt to get to the 'burger man', who is situated in the area of Clover's on Waterfront Drive.
Hazel explained that he realized he could not make a turn up that area in order to get to the 'burger man', hence, he drove by the Noel Lloyd Action Movement Park. There, he parked and walked back to the top of the road to look down the street to see if the 'burger man' was there.
He said after noticing that he wasn't there, he decided to go to the CIBC ATM machine to withdraw money. It was then Hazel claimed he saw persons running and the area where he got shot.
Hazel was asked if he returned to the East End area, and he said no, "I didn't leave town. I end up hospital."
The continuation of the interview with police will be heard when court resumes today.
Showed Up Bloodied At Hospital
Detective Shortte also played a series of video footage of the incident, the vehicle of interest (Suzuki) captured at different times on the night in question, and also Hazel showing up at the hospital, reportedly bleeding profusely and in pain.
In one of the videos showing between the alley of Palm Grove and the bank, an image showed a person dressed in a black t-shirt and a lighter shade coloured pants. At one point, the individual, with their back to the camera, used his hands to pull something over his head.
More footage showed an individual dressed in the same clothing arriving at Carty's vehicle, parked a short distance from the night deposit box. The person was wearing what appeared to be a Scary Movie mask.
The footage further showed what appeared to be an exchange of gunfire, according to Shortte, with the assailant running away and Carty in hot pursuit.
Meanwhile, CCTV footage of the areas at the traffic light at Treasure Isle, the roundabout, traffic light at Mi Amor and the entrance to the hospital were also shown. In those videos, the Suzuki vehicle was the focus for investigators.
The target vehicle was seen heading towards town at the Treasure Isle traffic light, and also at the roundabout. It was then seen heading back to the eastern direction at the Treasure Isle lights, and within a few minutes seen again heading back towards town, and then turning into the junction of the hospital.
The vehicle was seen pulling up at the emergency area and Hazel came out covered with what appeared to be blood and dirt on his clothes, and he was in apparent pain. He was holding his hands and his left side.
The security and nurse attended to him. He was wearing a black t-shirt and a light coloured pants.
Leslie Ann Faulkner is prosecuting the case and Hazel's lawyer is Mrs. Valerie Stephens-Gordon.