Fri | Aug 7, 2020

Ballistics report in Bogle case inconclusive, says INDECOM

Published:Thursday | July 2, 2020 | 12:27 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
A man walks by cardboard signs memorialising the death of 43-year-old Susan Bogle in August Town, St Andrew. Residents have alleged that Bogle was killed by a soldier.
A man walks by cardboard signs memorialising the death of 43-year-old Susan Bogle in August Town, St Andrew. Residents have alleged that Bogle was killed by a soldier.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has indicated that more analysis is needed in its probe into whether the bullet that killed August Town resident Susan Bogle was fired by a member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) or gunmen. The watchdog said the ballistics report it received on the May 27 incident was inconclusive.

While the report shows that JDF weapons were fired, The Gleaner understands that none of the bullet fragments recovered matched any particular army-issued weapon in the probe.

“It does show that some cases recovered from the scene do match one of the JDF weapons, but there are also other casings recovered at the scene which do not match any of the submitted weapons in this case,” INDECOM Deputy Commissioner Hamish Campbell told The Gleaner.

“Bullets will become destroyed when they hit surfaces and areas, so it’s not always possible to match a bullet to a particular weapon. We have some further examination and work to do some analysis of those casings ... ,” he explained.

He stressed that the investigation was not yet over.

“The post-mortem has been conducted. Although we don’t have the official post-mortem report, we, obviously, as we mentioned the other day, know what the post-mortem report says as it relates to how Ms Bogle suffered a single shot, so we are left with a number of casings, which clearly says more than one round was fired, and we now need to determine cause,” he said.

“Obviously, the security services say they encountered gunmen and those gunmen were firing at them, and casings at the scene certainly are matching security force weapons, so we have to examine what that could mean as well.”

Bogle’s son, Omari Stephens, told The Gleaner yesterday that he had not been aware of the inconclusive ballistics report.

“There has been no update since the autopsy. The matter is in the hands of our attorney,” he said. “INDECOM had promised to give me an update the last time I spoke to the chief investigating officer ... so I am just waiting to see.”

The 43-year-old disabled woman was allegedly shot in her home by a soldier during a police-military operation in the St Andrew community. Residents reported that soldiers had chased someone into the building.

Bogle was rushed to The University Hospital of the West Indies, where she was pronounced dead.

Her death sparked widespread condemnation from Jamaicans at home and abroad.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com