Reuben Rolle
Ethnicity Black
Occupation Building contractor
Born ca. 1933

May 20, 1964(1964-05-20) (aged 30)
Nassau, Bahamas

Cause of death Suicide
Attack information
Date May 20, 1964
8 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location(s) Nassau, Bahamas
Killed 6
Injured 6
Weapon(s) 16-gauge shotgun

Reuben Rolle (also spelled Ruben Rolle) was a Bahamian building contractor who killed six people and wounded six others in Nassau, Bahamas on May 20, 1964.[1][2]

Rolle originated from Andros, but had lived in Nassau for many years, where he resided in an area called the Grove and worked as a building contractor, or carpenter.[3][4]

One week prior to the shooting his wife Eloise left him, and on May 20 he told the Sweetings, a family he was related and friend with, that he would kill her and a lot more, unless she returned to him, though they didn't take him seriously. When they laughed about his threat Rolle took a 16-gauge shotgun, for which he had a license, and fired a shot at the family, killing his nephew Carlton Sweeting and wounding four others.[5][6][7][8]

With a friend's car and a pile of ammunition on the seat he then drove to a house in Broome Street, where his wife was staying, arriving there at around 8 p.m. He called Eloise Rolle out into the street and killed her with three shots in her back, and also wounded her sister, while two other of her relatives managed to escape, because his weapon jammed.[3][4][8][9][10][11]

Out in the street he threatened several neighbours, and shot ice cream vendor William Fernandez in the back of his head, who died two hours later in hospital. Rolle then drove around the suburb shooting people at random, claiming several more victims on a stretch of half a mile. The 30-year-old killed Eric Strachan outside a bar, while Bursell Fowler was killed instantly by a shot in the right shoulder. Alfred Glinton, who had witnessed the shooting of the Sweetings, died from a heart attack after taking the wounded to hospital. Overall the shooting lasted for half an hour.[3][4][8][9]

While dozens of policemen cordoned off an area of two square miles during their search for him, Rolle drove to the hills outside of the town, where he left his car. He then returned on foot to his home and committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. His body was later found by police.[3][4][8][12]


  • Eloise Rolle, his wife
  • William Fernandez
  • Bursell Fowler
  • Eric Strachan
  • Carlton Sweeting, 14, his nephew
  • Lodom Woodside
  • Alfred Glinton, died from heart attack

Those wounded were:

  • Winifred Ferguson, his sister-in-law
  • Ivan Hanna
  • Betty Sweeting, 2
  • Francis Sweeting
  • Rudolph Sweeting
  • Ulrick Sweeting


Further readingEdit

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