Prisoner who shot cop was on gun charge
Scores of patients and medical personnel at the National Chest Hospital in St Andrew had to scamper for cover yesterday after a prisoner disarmed a policeman and shot another before escaping from the premises.
The prisoner, Ricardo Richards, also known as ‘Kaka’, was in police custody awaiting trial on charges of illegal possession of firearm and ammunition and shooting with intent. He had been taken to the hospital after complaining of feeling ill.
A woman told The Gleaner that she witnessed the man and the policemen entering the hospital.
“I was sitting in the waiting area over by casualty. I really did see when two policemen came in with a man in handcuff. He was wearing a marina, slim built, a little shorter or on same height as both policemen. Then I see everybody looking through the door and I heard screaming and started to look, and then I see the security trying to close the door and everybody screaming and saying emergency,” an alleged eyewitness said.
The incident cause a commotion at the hospital as persons ran for cover. The woman with whom The Gleaner spoke said that she dashed for the car park but returned to the building soon after the situation was brought under control. She described what it was like when she returned.
“I saw quite a few doctors and nurses running with the policeman on a stretcher to an ambulance that came, and they took him away. The other policeman was still here. I saw him pass with a tall gun in his hand and then I saw an inspector and other policemen searching around,” the woman said.
Wentworth Charles, chairman of South East Regional Authority, told The Gleaner that the injured cop, who is said to be from the West Kingston Police Division, was stabilised at the National Chest Hospital and then transferred to another facility.
Meanwhile, several persons said they saw the prisoner running away with the cop’s service pistol. The police used canine and other resources to comb the hospital’s compound and surrounding areas in search of Richards but with no success.
Up to press time, Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay, who is in charge of communications in the force, said the prisoner was still at large.