Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Baffling - Questions surround whether cop shot Calabar student

Published:Saturday | April 15, 2017 | 4:00 AMLivern Barrett
14-year-old Calabar High School student, Damar Tennant, resting at his Pembroke Hall, St Andrew, residence after he was allegedly shot three times by the police.

A 14-year-old student yesterday recounted how he was shot three times during an altercation outside Calabar High School in St Andrew on Wednesday. He insisted that the shots were fired by a member of the police force.

Damar Tennant, who attends Calabar High, and his mother, Tamara Duncan, acknowledged that at the time of the incident, the policeman was firing at one of several men who were armed with knives and trying to enter the school compound, but said what happened after the shooting was even more disturbing.

The teen claimed that the policeman tried to coerce him into admitting that he had a knife in his possession at the time of the shooting.

He said this happened while the lawman reluctantly drove him to the Kingston Public Hospital with bullet wounds to the left side of his torso, wrist and hand.

"When I was in the car, he was telling me that I had a ratchet [knife]," Damar recalled.

This left his mother fuming.

"He tried to fabricate stories and lies on my son," the angry Duncan told The Gleaner.

 

NO POLICE REPORT

 

The police Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) confirmed yesterday that there was a shooting incident outside Calabar High on Wednesday in which "a student was shot along the roadway".

The CCU said a report from the Constant Spring Police indicated that "explosions were heard and the student was found suffering from gunshot wounds".

"No one has come forward to report seeing the shooter," the CCU said.

Duncan admitted that she did not report the incident to the police up to the time she spoke with The Gleaner, but dismissed the police account.

"That's a big lie. There was no shooting incident at the school until the policeman came and fired shots," she insisted, noting that there were scores of students who had just participated in sports day activities.

Said Damar: "That's false. That's not true. He [the policeman] was the only one visible with a gun."

The young man, in relating the incident, said he saw a group of men armed with knives trying to enter the school compound. According to him, one of them got into an argument with another man, causing the policeman to intervene.

His mother said the policeman used his firearm to "gun-butt" or pistol-whip the man armed with the knife, causing his cronies to run off. According to her, that's when the policeman opened fire, hitting her son.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com