Bruce in wrong place at wrong time – Family
September 28, 2007

Bruce in wrong place at wrong time – Family

Twelve years ago, Donald Bruce lost the use of his left arm during a boating incident while saving the lives of some children.

Fast forward to the present and Bruce once again had a close encounter with death.{{more}}

When Searchlight visited the usually tranquil village of Clare Valley on Monday, following the Saturday night shooting death of Ricardo Kelly, Bruce’s family was still puzzled as to why he would become the target of one of two gunmen who opened fire on the shop where Bruce, also known as ‘Toolie’, was involved in a game of dominoes. The gunmen killed one man and injured four others, including Bruce, in the process.

The family members (his mother, aunt, cousin and two-year-old daughter) had just returned from the hospital where the 37-year-old Bruce is a patient.

His mother, who was still shaken from the ordeal, indicated that her only son was resting in the hospital, but was in a lot of pain,

‘Cola’, as she is called by all, recounted telling her son to be careful as he left the house on Saturday night, heading to a shop not too far from where they live, for a game of dominoes.

“About 15 minutes later, I hear the loud gunshots, and by the sound of it, I say to myself that somebody dead.”

Cola’s fears were realized soon after, when a neighbor reported that “Toolie up there dead.”

As family members and other villagers rushed to the scene, Bruce and the other living victims were taken to the hospital: Gideon Culzac, who was hit in the right hand, Ellsworth Edwards shot in the right thigh, and William Burnette in the right foot.

Bruce was shot in the head and right arm.

Although doctors are trying to save his arm, Bruce has lost sight in his left eye.

Although Mrs. Roberts is thankful that her son is still alive, she is worried that if both arms are rendered useless, the father of two may not be able to support himself and his family.

“My son never involved in no kinda trouble,” she laments. “Everybody know him. He is always helpful and friendly”.

She said that her heart goes out to the other persons who got shot and their families, and hopes that there is no form of retaliation.

She said she is also concerned about persons wearing the clothing similar to the Special Services Unit (SSU) and the Rapid Response Unit (RRU).

“I don’t want any more killing to go on, but I want justice for my son,” she said, as she tried to fight back tears. (JJ)