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An off-duty police officer, the driver of Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, responding to a report of an armed robbery was gunned down by unknown assailants near his home late Saturday night in Rose Hill, St Peter, the first officer gunned down in the line of duty in over 30 years.
Acting Station Sargeant Newton Lewis was alerted to a robbery in progress a few metres from his home, when he was fatally shot by three gunmen, a visibly shaken police spokesman Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss told reporters. Station Sargeant Lewis’ service weapon may also have been taken by the assailants, according to reports.
Inspector Inniss said: “Tonight around 9:05, a shopkeeper who lives in Rose Hill, St Peter alerted the police officer that there were a group of men trying to rob his establishment. He requested the assistance of that police officer.
“The police officer who lived just a few metres away from the establishment was at home and he responded to the report. He got the aid of another person who lived in the general area and went to the establishment. On his way to the establishment, he was confronted by the said assailants. A number of gunshots were heard and that police officer fell to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Commissioner Griffith joined scores of St Peter residents gathered at the scene in shock as family members wailed in grief and traumatized police officers attempted to come to grips with their loss.
The police public relations officer said: “We are out here … supporting his wife, his father, his children, they are all together, huddled together and very, very traumatized, even police officers at the scene you can see how they feel.
“We are bringing counsellors for the family and we are bringing counsellors for our workmates as well.”
Remembering his fallen colleague he added: “[Lewis was] an acting station sergeant, very young and exuberant officer, [a] very good officer and it is sad that we would lose one of our own or anyone in these circumstances.
“He died doing what he loves to do as a police officer sadly.”
Residents in the area expressed shock and concern at the incident saying it was a first for the quiet community.
Read more at: https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/05/23/off-duty-police-officer-shot-to-death-in-st-peter/
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