Tue | Dec 5, 2023

Manhunt on for St Ann escapee, as two men murdered

Published:Monday | October 2, 2023 | 12:08 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Images of Troy Ellis released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
Images of Troy Ellis released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

A man charged with the murder of a nine-year-old girl in St Ann last month escaped from the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital Saturday night while undergoing treatment.

Just an hour later, two men were shot and killed in the nearby community of Seville but, despite suggestions from some residents, no link has been established between the escapee and the murders.

In the first incident, 27-year-old Troy Ellis of Fortland Road, Discovery Bay, who was charged with the rape and murder of nine-year-old Tayliah Thompson, escaped about 10:35 p.m. while being treated at the hospital.

Subsequently, the Police High Command issued a statement saying the circumstances of Ellis’ escape were the subject of a major investigation by the Inspectorate and Professional Standards Oversight Bureau and that all available resources from the St Ann division had been deployed to recapture him.

The two cops who were on guard at the time of the escape have been removed from frontline duty with immediate effect, and a full report is to be submitted to the commissioner by the end of the day.

The police say residents in the immediate environs of the hospital or anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ellis, or who may notice any suspicious activity, are urged to call the police at 119, Crime Stop at 113, or the NIB Tip Line at 811.

In the meantime, two men were shot and killed in the space of 10 minutes in Sea View Heights, a section of Seville, a vast property adjoining the hospital compound, on Saturday night.

Around 11:35, 38-year-old shopkeeper Vincent Duffus, also known as Tyrone Duffus, was alone in his grocery shop which is located at his home, when two masked men with handguns entered and robbed him of his Samsung cell phone. The men then fired several shots hitting Duffus in his upper body and head, killing him.

Ten minutes later, at 11:45, Jose Grant, also known as Rooster, a 40-year-old electrician, was also shot and killed.

Residents reportedly heard several loud explosions and called the police. When the lawmen arrived, they realised a door to Grant’s house had been kicked open and the house ransacked. A trail of blood led the police to a gully where Grant was found lying face down, about 70 metres from his home.

He was taken to the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

St Ann has recorded a 34.8 percent increase in murders, from January 1 to September 30, 2023, compared to the 2022 numbers, according to figures obtained from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

In the first nine months of this year, there have been 62 murders in St Ann, up from 46 a year ago.