Tue | Jul 23, 2019

Driver flees as gunmen pepper delivery truck with bullets in St James

Published:Thursday | May 23, 2019 | 12:16 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer
Bullet holes and bloodstains on the driver’s side of the delivery truck bear testament to the daring attack on the unit as the three men wrapped up operations on Tuesday night.
Bullet holes and bloodstains on the driver’s side of the delivery truck bear testament to the daring attack on the unit as the three men wrapped up operations on Tuesday night.

Western Bureau:

A delivery truck driver’s strong determination and skill in maintaining focus despite coming under a hail of bullets are credited for his and his co-workers’ escape from brazen gunmen who attacked them in what is believed to be an attempted robbery along the Lilliput main road in St James on Tuesday night.

Despite him and the other two occupants of the vehicle being shot, the driver kept the unit moving to make good their escape, seeking refuge at the Coral Gardens Police Station. The injured men, all employees of a prominent Montego Bay-based Chinese-owned distribution company, were rushed to hospital after it was discovered that they had been shot.

According to reports, shortly after 8:45 p.m., the trio, which included a 17-year-old, were returning to their Montego Bay base with goods and an undetermined sum of cash after completing their delivering service for the day in Lilliput and surrounding communities.

While travelling along the Lilliput main road, three men in a Nissan Tiida motor car pulled up alongside them and ordered the driver to pull over. When he ignored the order, the men opened fire on the truck, hitting all three occupants.

Gunmen were relentless

A taxi operator, who witnessed the incident, told The Gleaner that the gunmen were relentless as they tried various manoeuvres to get the driver to stop as they rained bullets on the speeding truck.

“Mi see di three man in a di Nissan Tiida pull up beside the truck and a signal di driver fi stop. Yuh coulda see dem a point dem gun pon the truck, but the driver neva stop, so dem start fire shot pon di truck. Mi haffi hitch a reverse and shot it back up the road,” the taxi operator said. “All mi know is that di driver good because him decide seh him nah tek no check from di boy dem.”

Other persons who witnessed the daring attack not far from a major security checkpoint under a state of public emergency (SOE) at the Trelawny-St James border, expressed shock at the brazen behaviour of the gunmen.

“Dem bring in ZOSO (zone of special operation), then dem bring in state of emergency, and now dem bring in Operation Restore Paradise, and di gunman dem still a gwaan with dem things,” another taxi operator said. “Dem mek di security forces look like dem nah gwaan with nutten.”

A senior police officer told The Gleaner yesterday that their investigation is now at an advanced stage as they have identified the Nissan Tiida used in the incident and are now hunting the men behind the attack.

It is understood that the businessman whose goods and money were being transported in this incident is the same business operator whose money was being transported when gunmen staged a daring multimillion-dollar robbery in Montego Bay in March. A courier and a security guard were killed in that incident, with a second guard injured.

ediorial@gleanerjm.com