KINGSTON — A weekend robbery spree by gunmen posing as police officers ended in a deadly gun battle between them and the lawmen in Portmore, St. Catherine on Saturday.
“It was like a movie,” said gasping Hamilton Gardens residents, as they recalled, with animation, the shoot-out, which left one of three gunmen dead. The others, said to be armed with “two big, long guns”, escaped.
The incident took place around 7 p.m. Many residents were relaxing in their yards talking with neighbours, while others were arriving home from church. Then the sound of gunshots sent them scampering for cover.
Police said the men had earlier robbed a bar in Sligoville, St. Catherine, and that quick action by the victims and police who responded to their calls resulted in the vehicle being intercepted and trailed by the cops.
“They travelled on Mandela Highway, then turned into Portmore, then into the community,” a police officer told the Jamaica Observer.
The gunmen, two of whom were wearing police ballistic vests, according to the cops, were accosted on Dahlia Avenue.
That’s when they crashed the white Nissan Tiida motor car that they were driving into a picket fence and alighted, guns blazing at a Jeep with policemen.
The residents said the men ran in different directions, their guns making “distinctly” different sounds from the police’s smaller weapons.
“Is the first I ever see so much ‘dry land’ swimmers. Everybody lay dung flat pon di grung,” said an elderly man, recalling residents’ reaction as gunshots barked over their heads.
As investigators processed the scene, they joked about their hiding spots during the shoot-out. But their tales were no laughing matter.
An investigator from the Major Investigation Task Force reported that police took evasive action to return fire killing the unidentified gunman.
Residents, however, said the long-haired thug, who had been hiding on a roof behind a water tank, was shot by cops as he attempted to surrender.
“I was in the house right in front of where it happen,” said one female resident, talking among a group of onlookers. “It look like him (gunman) did think dem see him wid dem bright light so him put dung the gun, put him hand up inna di air, and a walk from behind the tank. That is when dem run dung and shot him,” she said. (Observer)