Family distraught over police shooting of patriarch
A grieving son tonight is demanding answers about the tragic death of his father.
With tears streaming down his face and two bullet wounds in his back, Junior Knight is questioning why his 57-year-old dad, Selwyn, was shot dead allegedly by a policeman in Dash Gap, Bank Hall, St Michael around 6:50 a.m. yesterday.
The tragedy occurred as the 27-year-old man and his father were chasing a thief who had broken into their Queen Mary Road, Bank Hall home and stole a tablet computer.
Knight said he had to leave his father lying unconscious on the ground and run from the firearm which was still going off.
During an interview with Barbados TODAY this afternoon, Knight, who was injured in the incident, said he was robbed of a man he looked up to and “a friend” he had planned to watch football with later that evening.
“How I see it is that I just accept that my old man gone for nothing because it could have been done different than that . . .,” he said.
It all started when Knight’s father shouted to inform him that their house had just been broken into and the burglar, who was wearing a hoody, had just left the property.
“When I come out from my bedroom where I could see straight down the walkway, I see the fella run through the track right in front the house next door to me that would lead you to the next gap.
“When you go cross the other side, there is a track that would lead you to the main road. So I knew that would have to be the road that he take. I put on my clothes fast and tell my father, ‘let we go’,” he recalled as family members, who were gathered in the living room, listened in.
Knight said when he and his father drove to the bottom of their gap, they stopped where his mother, Marleen Knight, a well-known newspaper vendor, was selling to notify her that their house had just been robbed and to urge her to call the police.
“We turned right to go to the stop lights and when we got to the stop lights, we turned right again to carry you to Bank Hall Main Road and we turned on to First Avenue and when we got to the top of the avenue which would put you in Dash Gap, we saw the fella walking going towards the hard court.”
Knight said his father stopped the vehicle and he got out and approached the suspect whom he asked to hand over a child’s tablet they believed he had stolen from the house.
“And he tell me that he don’t know what I was talking about. I then asked him, ‘well what you was doing in my house then?’ He tell me that he don’t know what I was talking about.
“But then when my father got out of the vehicle, because my father was the [one who] confronted him at our front door first, he stepped back and draw a knife from he waist. I hold on to the knife with my left hand and hold his shirt with my right hand.
“I get the knife out of he hand and throw the knife one side,” he continued. “I trip he up and put he on the ground and tell my father come and take out the tablet from he pocket.
“Even though he tell me that he ain’t had it, the tablet was sticking out from his pocket and I know my niece’s tablet because they would take stickers from at school and stick them on the tablets,” he said.
Knight said as his father was about to reach for the tablet, he heard gunshots and saw his father stumbling towards the front of the vehicle.
“So when I let go the fella now to go to my father, I ended up getting shoot in my back and when the shot hit me, I fell to the ground.
“And when I turned, [his] head hit my foot and I hold he and I holler for he and then I realized that he wasn’t responding,” the son recalled.
He said when he realized that his father, an easy-going individual who loved his family, was lifeless and the shooter was still aiming at him, he decided that his best option at that time was to flee the scene.
“When I turn around, he [alleged thief] was still there, but the man [shooter] was still aiming at we too. So I tell myself I can’t dead here, I had to get up and run from here.
“I come back home and tell my mother come and carry me to the hospital but I had to let them know that my father was still out there and that he get shoot.”
Still visibly shaken, a saddened Knight said at that time, “in my heart, I know that my father was dead.”
“When he put he head on my foot and I was shaking he and realized that he wasn’t responding, I know that he wasn’t there,” he said.
The salesman at WIBISCO, who was shot in his upper and lower back, said what angered him was that the shooter did not inform them that he was a policeman.
“. . . all he had to come and say was, he is police. We would have been glad to hear that and say, ‘well police, this man now break in we house and we got the tablet here to show.”
When asked if he regretted going after the thief, Knight indicated that if they had not, his dad would still be here with him.
Marleen, who was married to the deceased for 25 years, was too distraught to speak and had to be consoled by friends and family after she broke down.
Meanwhile, the deceased man’s stepson Jomo Savoury is appealing to anybody who may have information about the incident to contact the police.
Police public relations officer, acting Assistant Superintendent of Police, David Welch, said investigations into the matter were continuing.