Glenroy Sinclair and Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writers
THEY GOT wind of a plot to kill her and immediately rushed to the small community, near Caanan Heights, located a mile away from May Pen, Clarendon, to save her life, but tragedy struck and the lawmen's rescue plan was delayed by an attempt to help a member of the police party, who had fallen in a deep sinkhole.
By the time help came and the lawman was pulled from the hole, the gunmen had already executed their plan and murdered the 52-year-old cigarette vendor, Patricia Lewis, a resident of Morgan's Lane.
Members of Lewis' family are now laying blame at the feet of the Clarendon police. Lewis was killed early Monday morning. Reports are that she was shot at least three times after the gunmen gained entry to her house by kicking down her back door.
"If the police never drop in the hole, me sister would still be alive," complained Lewis' brother, Dennis Garwood.
According to Garwood: "The police dem know that the gunman dem a come fi kill mi sister, so the police dem were over here a wait fi dem, but one of the police accidentally drop in a 40-foot hole, a de fireman dem have to come and tek him out. So after dem take the injured police out, the rest of dem leave with their squaddie, and as soon as dem left, the gunman dem come and killed mi sister," an emotional Garwood told The Gleaner.
"One man drop in a hole and all of the police run away to the hospital with him, and allowed the gunman them fi come kill mi sister. Dem kill har about 10 minutes after de the police dem left," a weeping Garwood explained.
Head of the Clarendon Police Division, Senior Superintendent Dayton Henry, told The Gleaner that the police had got some information about a plot by criminals.
"We did not know what exactly it was or where they had targeted. We moved into the area and dropped off some men on foot patrol. Then one of the policemen fell into a hole. During the whole process, everybody rushed to help the injured officer," said Henry, who believed that during the attempt to rescue the injured policeman, the others might have been distracted.
Henry said the prime suspect in the murder was killed the following day, allegedly by members of a known gang in the parish.
"Right now, we are doing some risk assessment to establish all the persons at risk based on what is happening," the commanding officer said.