Wed | Jan 20, 2021

Tivoli incursion - ten years on | Gary Spaulding cried, ‘Yuh gwine mek dem kill wi!’

Published:Monday | May 25, 2020 | 12:15 AM
This man was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital after residents of Fletchers Land said he was wounded in a shoot-out. See Tivoli photo slide at
This man was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital after residents of Fletchers Land said he was wounded in a shoot-out. See Tivoli photo slide at

Retired photographer Norman Grindley recalls his coverage of the May 2010 west Kingston operations.

I remember going to KPH (with Gary Spaulding) when everything start to lick shot. During that time at the hospital ..., whole heap of photographs taking, a lot of gunshot wounds, some dead, all kinds of things. The whole place was tense.

I remember when we started to see some smoke a billow in the air now. I realised it was the Hannah Town Police Station ... , and I said to Gary, ‘I’m going over there.’ But Gary said, ‘No, no, no; too much gunshot.’

So mi say, ‘Big man, I can’t be so near and not get that picture.’ Gary come like he was crying, saying, ‘Yuh gwine mek dem kill wi!’ ... . Until today, I feel it because I should have that picture. So close. But I couldn’t make it because I said I can’t afford to go over there with Gary in that state.

That was a rough situation in KPH. Police lie down on dem belly with guns all types of ways. Nurses coming to work bending down and running into the hospital.

... We were roving going towards Central Police Station. Then we started to hear a barrage of shots down Duke Street, and we see Flying Squad police start to rush out ..., and I said, ‘Gary, come,’ and him start to bawl again, saying, ‘No, wi can’t go down there.’ ... I said, ‘Big man, ’low mi make mi do my thing.’

We abandoned the car (at a bar on East Street). As we go in there, they closed the bar door. To be honest, Gary found himself around the counter where the woman sell because him get so nervous.

I went outside ..., and when the shots start to bake again, I went back inside. Gary filed about three stories to Power 106.

Taking over operations, and a policeman shaking like a leaf

... We shot it up South Camp Road, near Jessie Ripoll Primary School, and I started to get some pictures of the policemen lying down a fire across into Allman Town area. So I pushed my camera lens to the chain-link fence and start to get couple shots.

... While I’m getting some shots, now, I looked behind at Campbell Street ... . Nobody there ..., so I called one of those police and … said to him, ‘... Go and tell [the superintendent of police] to put two police down the bottom there because you will get surprised behind you, and people could come up the street and shoot everybody, including me, too ... ‘. It was clear. So it’s like me take over the scene. So the superintendent sent down two police there.

... Right beside the post where Arthur was standing up, I see a policeman come up shaking like a leaf with the gun inna him hand. So I said to Arthur, ‘Wi can’t stay here. Wi have to move because this man gwine kill wi.’ I never see a policeman so nervous in all my life.