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After 'crazy gunfight', police probing links to slain MoBay gangster 'Bowza'

Published:Sunday | April 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor
The three-storey apartment in Hatfield, St James where notorious gangster Nico ‘Bowza’ Samuels was killed during a gunfight with members of the security forces on Saturday.

Police crime-scene tape surrounding the three-storey apartment complex in Hatfield, St James, yesterday, was the only indication of the hours-long gun battle last Saturday that left notorious gangster Nico 'Bowza' Samuels dead and four policemen injured.

"There are detectives and personnel from INDECOM (the Independent Commission of Investigations) conducting investigations in there," said a policeman, who was manning the roadway leading to the building yesterday afternoon.

"The owner is in there, but we don't know if he has been interviewed yet," the cop added as our news team sought additional information on the deadly shooting that started shortly after 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Reports are that a police team, acting on information, went to the complex in search of Samuels, whose antecedents included being one of St James' most wanted men, a former top-tier member of the notorious Ski Mask gang, and an enforcer with the Ratty gang.

According to the reports, the police were greeted with heavy gunfire when they approached the building. They were forced to make a tactical retreat and summoned reinforcements. The shooting lasted for three hours as members of the military joined the police in surrounding the building to cut off all escape routes.

"It was a crazy gunfight ... . The policemen did not get the upper hand until tear gas was used to breach the building," said one police source.

"He never stopped shooting until he was killed. We seized two guns and more than 30 rounds of ammunition from him.

"Some other young men were found inside the apartment, but it is still unclear as to whether they were there against their will ... . They are all in custody and will be processed," added the policeman.

Three of the injured policemen sustained minor injuries, while the fourth suffered very serious, albeit non-life-threatening, wounds.

It is understood that the apartment in which Samuels was cornered was rented by a well-known Montego Bay personality, who the police have been trying to locate since the shooting.

"We know him. His vehicle is parked over there," said a policeman, pointing to a BMW X5 on the compound. "We will be taking away the vehicle."

Samuels, who was much-feared in Barrett Town, where the Ski Mask gang was once based, was wanted for a triple murder, among other killings.