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Enquiry: West Kingston Enquiry: Heavy gunfire met former Commish convoy in Tivoli

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2015 | 3:55 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
"The bwoy dem a shoot after we and we ago return the fire. Oonu come off a di streets because all hell ago bruk loose," a policeman was heard telling residents during the near 20-minute video.

Former Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington was in a vehicle that encountered heavy gunfire in west Kingston in the days leading up the 2010 police-military operations in Tivoli Gardens, a high-ranking member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has revealed.

Assistant Commissioner Leon Rose, who was testifying before the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry, said he and Ellington were heading to the Denham Town Police Station after they got reports that it had come under fierce gunfire from criminals.

Rose, who headed the Mobile Reserve Division at the time, said they were leading a team of police personnel who were trying to secure their colleagues as well as firearms and other equipment that were being housed at the Denham Town Police Station.

However, he said as the convoy of vehicles entered west Kingston they came under heavy and sustained gunfire.

In a video recording of the incident played for the commission, police personnel were heard appealing to residents to get off the streets as gunmen were firing at them from the Coronation Market and they were going to return fire.

"The bwoy dem a shoot after we and we ago return the fire. Oonu come off a di streets because all hell ago bruk loose," a policeman was heard telling residents during the near 20-minute video.

Rose said the intensity of the gunfire along with booby-trapped blockades across some of the roadways forced the police to abandon the mission.