Wed | Aug 12, 2020

INDECOM probing shooting of man, soldier in August Town

Published:Saturday | July 4, 2020 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Broken glass tells the tale of a reported shoot-out between gunmen and members of the Jamaica Defence Force in August Town, St Andrew Thursday night. One soldier was shot and is in critical condition in hospital while a man turned up at the hospital with bullet injuries.
Soldiers patrol sections of August Town yesterday after an alleged shoot-out between gunmen and the military. One soldier was shot while a civilian turned up injured at hospital.
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Residents of Bedward Crescent in August Town, St Andrew, yesterday accused members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) of shooting one of their neighbours while he was watering his plants at around 9:45 Thursday night.

The residents also complained that the soldiers fired indiscriminately leaving multiple bullet marks on houses.

According to the residents, who requested anonymity because they are fearful, soldiers who were operating without police presence appeared at the premises discharging their weapons randomly.

They claim that the shooting led to one of the JDF’s colleagues being injured. The soldier was admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies in critical condition.

Major Basil Jarrett, civil/military cooperation and media officer of the JDF, said that a man who reported that he was watering plants at the time, later showed up at hospital with gunshot wounds. He is being interviewed by the police.

He said reports that the soldiers were operating without a police escort would be investigated.

Public relations officer at the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), Denyelle Anderson, told The Gleaner last evening that the oversight body was investigating the matter.

“The allegations were that they [the soldiers] were fired upon and returned fire. Two persons were subsequently injured following that incident. One is a soldier and the other is a civilian. We were told that both individuals were taken to hospital for treatment. As it relates to the time they were taken, I can’t comment on that because I don’t have that information,” said Anderson.

The injured man’s sister told The Gleaner that she was inside on her phone while her sibling, who is employed as a bearer, was outside watering the plants, as he normally would every night, when he was hit.

Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay who heads the Corporate Communications Unit, said she needed more time before responding to claims that the soldiers were alone during the operation.

Members of the military found a shotgun and an AR15 assault rifle and 19 live rounds in a section of the community on Thursday.