KINGSTON — Three people were yesterday shot dead and two others, including a police special sergeant, injured during an alleged shoot-out between police and gunmen on Pechon Street, downtown, Kingston.
Police said Sonia Daley, a 60-year-old vendor of the Oxford Market, was killed by a bullet to the head during the deadly gunfight that brought activities in the bustling commercial district to a halt.
At the end of the firefight, Oshane Bentley, 23, of Septimus Street, Kingston 12, and Jason Watt, 22, of Bond Street, Kingston, were cut down and two firearms seized.
The Constabulary Communication Network, the police information arm, reported that the gun battle started around 8:15 a.m. when a police special sergeant attempted to accost two men.
“The men reportedly pulled firearms and opened fire at him. The fire was returned,” The CCN reported. “The policeman, the two gunmen, as well as two women, who appear to have been bystanders, all received injuries and were taken to hospital.”
Yesterday, vendors in downtown, Kingston, reacted in anger to the news.
“Jesus Christ, she dead, she dead!” screamed one vendor when she got the phone call that Daley had died.
“How can police fire in a crowd like that and kill off the innocent hard-working Christian woman?” asked another vendor who demanded that an investigation be carried out into the matter.
Police sources have, however, claimed that it was a bullet from one of the gunmen that killed the woman. According to the sources, one of the men killed was said to be out on bail and was on his way to report at a police station.
Meanwhile, the Police High Command has called on members of the public to provide information to assist the investigation.
“We mourn with the family members and members of the community, and we are appealing to them to honour the memory of their loved ones by ensuring that they co-operate with investigators to facilitate a speedy resolution to the case. Only then can closure be guaranteed,” said the Police High Command.
Head of the Area Four Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police George Quallo, also attempted to reassure the public that the downtown business district remained open, and that citizens can be confident of their safety while conducting business.
He also appealed to members of the surrounding communities and the public at large to remain calm, as the police and investigators from the Independent Commission of Investigations have already begun to probe the incident. (Observer)