Police, 'Rema' residents split over facts of triple killing
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
The police and residents in one section of Wilton Gardens, popularly called Rema, are giving different versions of the killing of three men there on Saturday.
While the residents claim that it was cold-blooded murder, Deputy Superintendent Arthur Brown, who was part of the operation, insisted there was a shoot-out and that all three were found "clutching" guns.
The guns, he said, were a Browning 9mm, a Smith & Wesson 9mm and a .357 Magnum.
"The guns were displayed for the residents. They saw them. These are not guns that the police use," Brown said.
The dead men have been identified as David Jones, 26, who would have celebrated his birthday Monday; Ryan Palmer, 20; and Lance Robinson, 20, who is the father of a six-month-old girl.
However, speaking to The Gleaner yesterday, Colin Robinson, father of Lance Robinson, said no guns were recovered or displayed to the residents and he denied there was ever a firefight.
He said the three were among a group of men in a yard on Third Street when they were surprised by the police.
He admitted that everyone in the yard ran, but said no one fired at the police. Robinson alleged that his son, as well as Jones and Palmer, was held after a brief chase and shot at close range.
Residents also pointed to blood-splattered zinc fences with bullet holes that marked the spot where the killings took place. They also claim that the dead men were hauled by their feet and thrown into police vehicles.
"You can't deal wid human beings so. A because dem know say a poor people and we no have no money fi get justice," one resident shouted when The Gleaner visited the area Monday.
However, Deputy Superintendent Brown said the police went into the area in search of wanted men and guns.
Brown said one team entered the community from Second Street while a second entered from Collie Smith Drive. He said the men, who were allegedly hiding in a yard, saw the first team that entered from Second Street and ran out on to the street before being intercepted by the other team.
According to Brown, they ran back into the yard and opened fire on the police. When the ensuing shoot-out ended, he said, the area was searched and the three men were found "clutching weapons".