Sun | Jul 12, 2020

Cop killer cut down - Two policemen dead, two others in serious condition

Published:Saturday | June 13, 2020 | 12:21 AMPaul Clarke and Rasbert Turner/Gleaner Writers
Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members had to console each other after two of their colleagues were shot and killed and two others injured by gunmen along Queens Drive in Horizon Park, Spanish Town, St Catherine, yesterday.
Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members had to console each other after two of their colleagues were shot and killed and two others injured by gunmen along Queens Drive in Horizon Park, Spanish Town, St Catherine, yesterday.

THE MAN said to be responsible for the brutal gun attack that left two policemen dead and two others in critical condition in hospital is now dead. The incident occurred during a predawn operation on Friday in Horizon Park, Spanish Town, St Catherine.

The gruesome killing of the two cops and injuring of two others is the worst attack against members of the security forces in recent times.

Thirty-nine-year-old Damion Hamilton was killed by the police in Cooreville Gardens, Kingston, sometime yesterday afternoon. He was said to be a deportee.

Hamilton was the triggerman in yesterday’s deadly shooting of 26-year-old Detective Corporal Dane Biggs and Constable Decardo Hylton. Superintendent Cleon Clunis and another policeman are in hospital in critical condition.

Another cop was injured by the same shooter just before he met his demise. A 9mm pistol was retrieved in the Cooreville Gardens incident.

It is understood that the first incident occurred about 4:30 a.m. on Friday when members of a police party came under gun attack from a premises on Queens Drive in the Horizon Park community.

The bullet-riddled ballistic vests of the policemen were evidence of the serious attack the police came under from a high-powered weapon.

An M16 rifle was seized at the location.

A Gleaner source said that Hamilton served in the United States Marines Corps and that he was deployed in the Gulf War.

Hamilton has been living at the house on Queens Drive in Horizon Park for the past three years and was recruited by an individual from the area to help fight a turf war, a source explained.

It was on that basis that the police operation was reportedly planned.

Clunis underwent emergency surgery up to late yesterday evening to remove the bullets but remained in critical condition.

The police hierarchy, led by Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson, had vowed swift justice, stating the incident “is not going to cause us to step back”.

Anderson was quick to reject suggestions that the police on the operation were caught off guard, telling reporters “there is no indication of that”.

The wife of the late Corporal Biggs is said to be in a state of shock. A friend of the family told The Gleaner that she is “numb”, as the couple had only celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary in March.

“She is not able to speak to the press at the moment. She is not doing well,” reported the friend.

At the same time, residents in Horizon Park described the sounds of gunshots as “the most frightening sound we have heard in our lives”.

“I have lived here for a long time, in fact, more than 20 years and it’s the first time I ever hear so much gunshots,’’ one resident said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com