Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Tivoli incursion - ten years on | 'It was one scary firefight'

Published:Monday | May 25, 2020 | 12:13 AM
Soldiers race across Park Lane, an enclave where gunmen engaged the security forces in a fierce firefight, along Red Hills Road, northwest St Andrew, on May 24, 2010.
Soldiers race across Park Lane, an enclave where gunmen engaged the security forces in a fierce firefight, along Red Hills Road, northwest St Andrew, on May 24, 2010.

Current Chief Photo Editor Ricardo Makyn recalls covering the Tivoli Gardens incursion which sparked violence all across the city.

I remember well the day after witnessing barricades being set up on Spanish Town Road in the vicinity of May Pen Cemetery, metres away from the Denham Town Police Station.

I was shaken up by the threats delivered by a group of men who made their way from Tivoli and walked towards us at the intersection of Collie Smith Drive and Spanish Town Road.

Another vivid memory is of the voice of then Managing Editor Jenni Campbell: “There is a shooting happening now on Red Hills Road!”

We rushed out!

On arrival, I saw a group of police, then soldiers, moving in. Suddenly, gunshots were raining from all directions. My ears started ringing from the explosions while I ran behind an army man clinging to the wall while I fired away at my camera’s shutter button.

It was one scary firefight. Even the bulletproof vest I wore at the time disintegrated, not from gunfire but from all the acrobatics. I was young and naïve. I doubt that I would take some of those chances today.