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Cops kill two-time escapee in Caymanas Gardens

Published:Monday | September 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Alton 'Putty Wet' Maxwell, a two-time escapee and murder convict on the run, one of Jamaica's most wanted men, was killed Sunday morning in a shooting incident involving the St Catherine South police in Caymanas Gardens.

Reports are that a team from the St Catherine South Division went to premises in Caymanas Gardens in search of Maxwell, who was convicted last year for the murder of a pregnant woman in Watson Grove.

Police sources said the wanted man, when confronted by the police, pointed a gun in the direction of the lawmen. The police team took action, firing at Watson, who was shot during the confrontation. He was pronounced dead at hospital.

An Intratec Tec-9 submachine gun was recovered during the incident.

Superintendent Terrence Sancko, operations officer, St Catherine South, described Watson, who had escaped the Portmore lock-up in March while awaiting sentencing for murder, as "a major violence producer".

"He is a man who was in the court on charges of murder and shooting. He was convicted and awaiting sentencing when he escaped. He was held in Westmoreland with a firearm, a charge to which he pleaded guilty before escaping custody again.

"We had him down as a major violence producer based on the number of crimes attributed to him, him being a known gunman, having pleaded guilty to illegal possession of firearm. These are things that were all proven," Sancko pointed out.

"It's always regretful in the event of death, but sometimes we are not too sad when these things happen. We knew he had a propensity to shoot at will. Any confrontation with him would have ended in a gunfight," he added.

Residents protest

Members of the Caymanas Gardens community protested the shooting while the police were attempting to transport the wounded gunman to hospital.

A police source, however, told The Gleaner their position quickly changed after his identity was ascertained later that morning.

Sancko said such a scenario was not uncommon in some communities.

"At times, because of the area in which they live, fear of cronies left behind causes persons to behave like that," he explained.

Maxwell was among seven men who had escaped from the Portmore police lock-up in March. After being recaptured in Westmoreland, he was among eight men who broke out of the Savanna-la-Mar lock-up in June.