Thu | Aug 5, 2021

INDECOM probing death of arrested Trafalgar suspect

Published:Thursday | May 13, 2021 | 12:16 AM
Police conduct an investigation at the crime scene of the Trafalgar-Hope-Waterloo intersection where the presumed killers of Robert Fletcher were cornered, sparking a fierce gun battle in traffic on Monday. The Independent Commission of Investigations has launched a probe.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has turned scrutiny on the death of one of two men suspected to have killed businessman Robert Fletcher before being cut down in a shoot-out with cops at the Trafalgar-Waterloo-Hope roads intersection in St Andrew on Monday.

INDECOM, which investigates excesses and abuse by state agents, said on Wednesday that it had commenced a probe into the incident, some of which was captured on video in midday traffic.

It pointed out that there has been some speculation, confusion, and inaccuracies in the initial reports, which require clarity.

On Monday, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, in a series of tweets from @jamaicaconstab, reported that two men were fatally shot, two firearms recovered, and one man was in custody when the dust settled.

When our news team checked the Twitter account yesterday, the tweet had been deleted by the author.

Yesterday, INDECOM noted that the police reported that upon receipt of information concerning a fatal shooting incident in the Swallowfield community, details of a vehicle believed to have gunmen were transmitted.

The vehicle was reportedly spotted and intercepted along Trafalgar Road, where three officers initially confronted the occupants.

During that encounter, gunshots were fired, and INDECOM says the details of the circumstances of the discharge of weapons are under examination.

It is waiting for access to some of the recordings from social media, private locations, and JamaicaEye.

QUESTIONS RAISED

Police Commissioner Antony Anderson set tongues wagging on Tuesday when he disclosed that no one from the incident was in custody.

It raised questions about an individual who was seen on video in handcuffs being escorted by police from the nearby Abbey Court premises.

One video shows a man, believed to be the getaway driver, slumped behind the steering wheel of the intercepted car and another rolling across Trafalgar Road.

INDECOM confirmed that two men, still unidentified, were shot dead in the police intervention and a third man escaped from the scene.

Of concern to INDECOM is the fact that the man who was apparently arrested and driven away from the scene in a police vehicle was later seen lying on Trafalgar Road and later tagged as one of two fatalities.

Autopsies are being scheduled to shed more light on the nature and cause of death of both men.

More than 70 nine-millimetre cartridges were recovered at the scene, and at least 42 bullet strikes hit the suspects' vehicle.

The officers involved in the operation have provided an initial account and will be interviewed in the coming days.

Head of the police information unit, Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, could not be reached up to press time.

INDECOM is asking anyone who witnessed or has any information regarding this incident to make contact at 876-968-1932, 876-968-8875, or via WhatsApp at 876-553-5555.

editorial@gleanerjm.com