Gravel Heights outlaw slain

Published: Monday | March 16, 2009

Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer

James Hinds, one of Jamaica's most-wanted criminals, was killed Saturday night in an alleged shoot-out with the security forces.

Sergeant Jubert Llewellyn, spokesman for special squad, Operation Kingfish, said a police-military team spotted Hinds in Portmore, St Catherine. The outlaw was shot in an ensuing gunfight.

"The team was on operation and went to Newland in Portmore, where they saw Hinds. He started to fire at the team.

"The men took cover and fired back, during which time he was hit and ran. It was during a search of the neighbouring Southboro community that he was found," said Llewellyn.

The Kingfish spokesman said Hinds was wanted for a number of murders in St Catherine and that he figured prominently in the violent upsurge in the Gravel Heights community, located on the outskirts of Spanish Town, late last year.

The situation escalated when gunmen threatened residents to flee their homes. Prime Minister Bruce Golding intervened, ordering that a military post be set up to assuage residents' fears.

Residents returning

As news of Hinds' death circulated through the community, a number of residents were seen returning to the homes they were forced to leave on December 10 last year.

Others expressed gratitude to the security forces who still maintain a presence in the community.

''We thank the police and soldiers for staying with us and helping to force out the criminal them. Words are just not enough to say thanks,'' remarked Roger Snape before downing a cold beer.