Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Cops kill three in Salt Spring, resident angry

Published:Friday | November 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMAdrian Frater

Western Bureau:

Residents in the volatile Salt Spring community in St James are now seething as they are hotly disputing the police's version of an incident in which three men were killed in an alleged confrontation with the lawmen early yesterday morning.

The dead men, who range in ages from late teens to early 20s, were identified by residents as Christopher Thorpe, Omar Sawyers, and Oniel Robinson, all of Salt Spring addresses.

"Don't mek me cuss bad wud, ... . Don't ask me bout no shoot-out because no shoot-out nuh gwaan up yah," said an angry resident when quizzed by The Gleaner about the incident. "Wha gwaan a straight cold-blooded murder ... . Dem man deh a nuh police. Dem a gangsters."

 

POLICE'S ACCOUNT

 

According to the police's account, shortly after 6 a.m., a police unit was on patrol along Conie Corner in Salt Spring when strange movements near a house attracted their attention. On approaching the house, they were reportedly fired on by a group of men and the fire was returned.

They said that when the shooting subsided, three men were found nursing gunshot wounds. Two were reportedly still clutching 9mm pistols. They were rushed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

"Dis was a clean shooting ... . Dem open fire and the police fire back," said a policeman, who asked not to be identified. "Dem Salt Spring people yah wicked ... . Dem under pressure from gunman every day, and now when gunman get killed, dem a tell the media bout a murder ... . Dem wicked and ungrateful."

However, in seeking to push their line of unjustifiable killing, some residents said that they believed there was a police 'hit squad' operating in the parish with a mandate to kill young men, especially those with gun cases before the court.

"Any man who have a gun case before the court is like a walking dead," a young man told The Gleaner.

St James has been bloody this year, already equalling last year's record 264 murders, with seven weeks still to go in 2017.