KINGSTON, Jamaica — Police Commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson has praised the officers who responded to yesterday’s swift operation to apprehend three gunmen after they killed a businessman on Old Hope Road in St Andrew around midday.
The men who tried to escape in a white Toyota Axio motor car, were intercepted at the Hope and Trafalgar roads intersection, and engaged the police in a shootout.
Two of the gunmen were killed.
The police said another man who was also shot during the exchange, escaped in the back of a van.
The search for him continues.
Commending the response team today, Anderson said the officers responded in a measured way.
“Really our most important asset is our people and the training we can give to those people, the confidence we can instill in them and what we saw play out yesterday was a reflection of this. We had officers respond to a call and they responded in a measured way from what I saw and reviewing the video, and there’s a number of angles and footage that we were looking at but at this point, from an initial review, the way the officers moved into position to stop the vehicle, although it was stopped in a line of traffic, to engage the vehicle or the people in the vehicle and get them to surrender themselves and to effect an arrest, they were positioned so that they could respond in the event that the gunmen opened fire. That’s what happened,” the police commissioner said.
“Of course even though the car had been identified and we have cameras, we’re tracking it, those officers still have the responsibility to ensure that that is the vehicle that actually was carrying the gunmen so they can’t be overly hasty in how they conduct themselves. They have to make sure, firstly, and then they have to give those persons an opportunity to surrender their selves,” he continued.
Anderson noted, however, that the gunmen opened fire, exposing several civilians on the busy street to danger.
“Once there is a gunfight, there is always a risk to other people around. Fortunately, the way the officers were positioned and their response prevented civilians from either being injured or taken hostage in a situation like that,” he praised.
“Having our officers return home to their families is significant in this. Every day our officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect our public and you know, when they get home at night, having done that, having been in a gunfight, having had to effect arrests on some dangerous people, you know we consider that a good thing and certainly, I wish to commend those officers, all of those officers involved.
“Commuters got a sort of first hand view of what we face, but that’s not a good thing, you know, I’d prefer if that didn’t happen but you know, the reality is that we had to respond to an evolving situation. I think it perhaps gives persons an indication of the kind of danger that police officers put themselves in on a daily basis,” Anderson said.