Residents protest after teenage bystander is shot during gun battle involving police and robbers
Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer
The top brass of the St Catherine South Police Division is trying to calm residents of Marlie Mount who staged a massive protest yesterday after a teenager was shot during an alleged shoot-out involving cops and a group of robbers.
"The youth is innocent, and although him nuh dead, the police should be more careful," said Marvette Tinglin, a resident of the area.
"Is bush di young man 'ear breaking and him start to run and dem just shot him. We need justice from this," said Michelle Topping, a family friend.
When The Sunday Gleaner visited the community on the outskirts of Old Harbour, St Catherine, yesterday afternoon, the police had just cleared the roadblock mounted by persons protesting the shooting of the 17-year-old.
The police report that the teenager was accidentally shot in the crossfire involving cops and a group of gunmen who had earlier robbed a guest house.
"About 10 p.m., the police received a report that a group of men had robbed a guest and slashed a man's throat. The police went into the area and three men fitting the description were seen. They fired at the police and the fire was returned," said Superintendent Clive Blair, who is in charge of operations for the division.
According to Blair, the robbers attempted to escape in a Honda motor car, which crashed a short while later.
The three male occupants of the vehicle were apprehended by the police.
A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of a handgun.
The men are being held in custody on suspicion of robbery, shooting and illegal possession of firearm.
With police personnel patrolling the community late yesterday, Blair said efforts were being made to ensure that the good relations that exist between the police and the residents of Marlie Mount are not destroyed.