Police officer placed on desk duty as probe continues into fatal shooting
The Acting Commissioner of Police is promising that no stone would be left unturned in getting to the bottom of the fatal police shooting of a man at Dash Gap, Bank Hall, St Michael last Sunday.
Acting Commissioner Tyrone Griffith told Barbados TODAY that the Royal Barbados Police Force had no intention of making any decisions on its own regarding the fate of the officer who pulled the trigger, but would be referring the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and, or the Coroner for guidance.
Describing the shooting death of 57-year-old Selwyn Knight as an unfortunate incident and expressing heartfelt condolences to the family, Griffith said a team of detectives, led by a senior police officer, was conducting a thorough investigation of the matter in which Knight’s son Junior was also shot and injured in the same situation.
“I would want to extend heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Mr Knight for what I must describe as a most unfortunate incident. I wish them well in the circumstances. A team of detectives, led by a very senior officer is conducting investigations into the matter and at this stage, I cannot go into any details, as the investigations are very fluid,” the police chief added.
“We would need to get all the facts before we could give any details,” he pointed out.
Griffith said the officer at the centre of the shooting had been assigned to desk duties in the short term and was receiving counselling.
The commissioner explained that he did not see any reason at this stage to send the officer on leave.
However, the top cop stressed that if the investigations revealed anything that warranted criminal charges, “let the chips fall where they may”.
“When the investigations are conducted, we will not take it upon ourselves to make any decisions unless we first refer that matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for his guidance.
He disclosed that the case had not yet been referred to the DPP.
“We have to wait until we have all the investigations are completed totally, so that he [DPP] would have all the facts, evidence and circumstances before him, to give that guidance,” Griffith contended.
Asked what impact the deadly shooting incident was having on the Force, the police commissioner replied: “Obviously . . . it is painful for us. We are not involved regularly in shooting incidents that result in death. It is not the kind of situation that we wish we would be in.”
Only yesterday, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite said he was sorry about the incident and expressed regret to the family.
Selwyn Knight was gunned down and his son Junior shot in the back as they overpowered a young man who had just broken into their house and stole a tablet computer. The man they held turned out to be 27-year-old Jamal Amal Skeete of Bedford Lane, Greenfield, St Michael, who yesterday pleaded guilty to the charge of burglary.
Skeete expressed remorse that his stealing of the tablet computer resulted in the death of the father, brother, husband and friend.
“I really don’t know what to say about this matter because a whole man’s life has been lost due to my nonsense,” the convicted young man told the magistrate.