BAHAMAS-Police officer shot dead
NASSAU –– A policeman was shot in the head and killed last night as he sat in his jeep with a female friend while off duty.
The incident took place at about 7 p.m. on Durham Street off Montrose Avenue.
This was the second murder of the day –– after a man was shot and killed early yesterday morning by two others who intentionally placed “large stones” on the East West Highway in order to rob motorists. The murder happened shortly after 2 a.m. near Abundant Life Road.
The country’s murder count now stands at 113 for the year, according to The Tribune’s records.
In addition, another man is in hospital after a shooting on Robinson Road.
Speaking last night, Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean said: “At 7 p.m., we received a report of a shooting at Durham Street. On arrival, officers found the body of a male, which we later found out to be an off duty police officer, with gunshot wounds. A female companion was in the vehicle with him.”
The victim has not been formally named, but The Tribune understands he is Sergeant Wayne Rolle. Two men were said to have fled on foot.
“We do not have a definitive motive,” said Dean. “We are interviewing people; we are trying to decipher as the information unfolds.”
He called on the public to assist in any way in the search for the policeman’s killers.
He said: “We want to send a call out for anyone who has been passing this area, who may have any information to come forward. We are asking you if you can go out there and push this information out –– we are asking public assistance.”
In the first murder of the day, according to officer in charge of the Central Detective Unit, Chief Superintendent Paul Rolle, the driver, with a male passenger were travelling east on the East West Highway, when they saw large stones in the road. The driver of the vehicle got out to remove the stones when he saw two men, armed with handguns, running toward him.
“Sometime around 2:30 a.m., police control room received reports of gunshots being discharged in the East West Highway area, near Abundant life Road. A unit was dispatched to investigate. Upon arriving in that area, they found a male lying in the street, he seemed to be suffering from multiple gunshots about the body,” Rolle said.
“EMS were summoned and while waiting on the ambulance they encountered a second male who was also suffering from gunshot injuries. The male reported that they were driving on the highway when they stopped because some stones were in the street. One of the men got out to remove the stones and that’s when they saw two men running toward them in black jackets and black tams, who began discharging shots at them. They attempted to run away, but were hit. Both of them were taken to hospital one of the men was pronounced dead on arrival. The second victim is listed in critical condition.”
Rolle said police believe the stones were put in the middle of the road intentionally to “force people to stop in order to rob them”. He said police had no one in custody at this time, but they believed the suspects lived in that area.
“At that hour in the morning, usually at that traffic light people tend to drive straight through; obviously the persons that are doing this live in that community. There was also an armed robbery incident reported just a few hours before in the Montell Heights area and we believe it is these same two individuals who committed that act then went out with the intent to rob someone else,” he said.
“We have had incidents in the past where persons from Montell Heights threw stones at passing vehicles and when they stopped, persons robbed them. What I would say to people is if you are driving along the streets early in the morning or late at night and you come to a traffic light and you see some stones in the road . . . do not stop and get out of your car to try and move them. I believe the majority of us have cellphones; so dial 911 or 919, tell the police what you see and try to get around the obstruction without getting out of the car.”
In the incident at Robinson Road, police said they received a call at about 4:30 p.m. On arrival at the scene, they found a man sitting on a four-wheel recreational vehicle suffering from apparent gunshot injuries to the body.
Chief Superintendent Paul Rolle said: “EMS responded to that scene and transported him to hospital. The latest report is that he is still in serious condition, but he is out of surgery.”
He added: “What we do know is that while he was sitting there he was accosted by two males who produced handguns. They were wearing black masks and began discharging shots at him, hitting him multiple times.
“These men then got into a gold-coloured Honda Accord and left the area.”