Saint Lucia police say the discovery of the body of a male at Odsan on Tuesday came after an incident in which some suspects exchanged gunfire with cops.
The dead man has been identified as Benjamin Cyril, 22, of Bois Patat, Castries.
Police spokeswoman Anne Joseph told reporters Wednesday that the investigation into the death was at a preliminary stage.
She said it could not be determined as yet whether it was a gunshot fired from a police officer’s weapon that killed Cyril.
“A post mortem has to be conducted. There are also certain tests that have to be done so that we can confirm that. We are not in a position to do so at this moment,” Joseph explained.
Cyril had four previous convictions on record, including damage to property, it was revealed.
Joseph said he also had matters pending before the high court such as aiding and abetting the commission of an offence and using a firearm with intent to injure.
“There were also several reports made against that individual to the Criminal Investigations Department in Castries including several robberies, burglaries, assaults with a firearm, assault upon the person, wounding and threats,” according to the police spokeswoman.
Joseph explained that on Tuesday, police conducted an operation in Bexon with the goal of apprehending a group of suspects involved in various offences including robberies in the Castries and Anse La Raye districts.
She told reporters that when approached by officers the suspects discharged a firearm in the direction of the cops, resulting in an exchange of gunfire.
Joseph said the individuals were able to escape detention in a motor vehicle.
“Officers later received information regarding an abandoned vehicle in the Odsan area after two males were seen fleeing from the vehicle,” she stated.
“Upon arrival, one of the individuals who evaded arrest during the previous operation was discovered unresponsive and was pronounced dead on the scene by a medical practitioner,” she said, adding that the deceased was Benjamin Cyril.
Joseph said one other individual is still at large and is being actively pursued.