Sat | Jul 4, 2020

‘Bigga’ Ford warns ex-cops of ambush - Former Flying Squad officer shot 10 times on Red Hills Road

Published:Monday | February 3, 2020 | 12:27 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer

Former police sleuth Garth Tapper narrowly escaped with his life on Saturday after he was shot by gunmen 10 times on Red Hills Road in St Andrew, prompting a warning from retired Senior Superintendent of Police Cornwall ‘Bigga’ Ford that all serving and ex-cops should boost their own security.

The incident occurred just after 11 o’ clock at Cameron Lane, in the vicinity of TP’s Hideout Bar, according to police sources.

The Gleaner understands that Tapper, a businessman, was attacked by men travelling in a white Toyota Probox motor car.

Of the group of people who were standing along the roadway at the time of the shooting, Tapper, 65, was the only person hit.

He was taken to hospital and is recuperating.

According to Ford, who once headed the now-defunct police Flying Squad, Tapper may have used his decades of experience as a lawman to save his own life.

Ford described Tapper as a “very good police officer”.

“He was one of the team leaders at the Flying Squad. Him did have him own team and him did do a lot of special operations. Him really defend di thing. Him really was on the front line.

“I can remember when Natty Morgan and dem man deh a roll.Tapper was one of the man dem weh did deh pon di front line doing him best. He was also a Mobile Reserve man, too, so him put him training to the maximum test and overcome,” Ford told The Gleaner.

Nathaniel ‘Natty’ Morgan was a feared gangster who was cut down in a police shoot-out in August 1991.

Ford urged current and former law enforcers to exercise caution “because the gunmen look like dem a have a field day”.

“Everybody just has to be careful and up dem security. All police officers, serving or retired, must be careful.

“All we can do is pray and hope that him pull through. If he wasn’t alert, he wouldn’t be here today,” he said of Tapper.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com