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Sep 28, 2005

Police shoot suspected burglar; corpse remains unidentified

Story PictureDead men tell no tales… so unless there was a fly on the wall that?s willing to testify, the police version of Tuesday evening’s fatal shooting of a suspected burglar at Los Lagos is the only one we’re likely to get. Today News Five’s Jacqueline Woods pieced together the official story.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
Police say based on preliminary investigations their officers had no choice but to shoot the still unidentified suspect after he pointed a weapon at the two policemen who entered the bedroom where the man had barricaded himself.

A.S.P. Chester Williams, O.C. Criminal Investigation Branch “Based on what we have seen at the crime scene, we believe that the officers exercised extreme patience in trying to get this person out of the house. And not only do we have the stories from the officers, but we also have the stories from the persons who were within the area who also collaborated what the officers are saying in terms of the officers being patient, in terms of the officers identifying themselves, and other things that go along with it.”

The incident unfolded around four on Tuesday evening after area residents called the police to report that someone had broken into this residence and that the person was still inside. According to the case manager, Assistant Superintendent of Police and C.I.B. Chief, Chester Williams, when a team of officers from the Ladyville police station arrived on the scene, the suspect had barricaded himself inside the house. Because the homeowner is out of the country, the police first contacted the building?s caretaker who emphatically told the police that no one had the legal authority to be inside the premises.

A.S.P. Chester Williams
“The officers identified themselves from outside as police officers, telling the person to open the door. This effort continued for about twenty minutes and still there was no response. The caretaker then handed to the police a key, which she had for the premises, as she makes regular checks at the house to ensure that it is secured. By means of the key, the officers attempted to open the house and the key did open one lock on the door, but the person from inside lock the door from the inside, avoiding the police officers from entering. Nonetheless, the officers continued being patient, trying to get this person out of the house, knocking on the door, tell the person: police, open. And with all that the person did not open the door. The officers later managed to use force on the door and enter the house. When they entered the house, the person ran into a room and locked himself inside a room. Again, the officer endeavoured to have the person come out of the room voluntarily and that again was another process which took a period of time and the person refused to allow the officers inside the room or refused to come out of the room.”

At this time the authorities report that the police had to force their way inside the room by shooting the lock off the door.

A.S.P. Chester Williams
“There were two officers near the door and one was supporting the other one who was breaking open the door. As the door broke open, the supporting officer saw this person in the room cocking a firearm and was aiming at one of the officers. Right away the officer responded with his issued shotgun and fired one shot.”

The bullet caught the suspect in the head and he died on the spot.

A.S.P. Chester Williams
“Yesterday evening after the incident, we entered the room and indeed we found a firearm on the person. He had it in one of his hands. It was a point twenty-five calibre pistol.”

The police are hoping that the description of the dead man will lead to him being identified.

A.S.P. Chester Williams
“We have been making efforts to try and get an identity for this person and with no avail. All I can say at this point in time is that the person is a dark-complexioned male, he has a low haircut, he has “One Love” tattooed on one arm, on the other arm he has “Jah Love.” He appeared to be in his early or mid twenties, he is about five feet, six inches in height.”

Further investigations reveal that the suspect had entered the premises by removing a burglar bar and louvers from a back window and that it?s not the first time that the man had been at the residence.

A.S.P. Chester Williams
“The public, especially the Los Lagos residents, have been very concerned over the past few months and have been plagued by the occurrence of burglaries in the area. And seemingly, this person has taken this residence as if it was his own and has been operating, probably committing burglaries in that area and using that house to store whatever until he dispose of it by other means. The matter is being investigated to see whether or not he is involved in any robberies, any burglaries within the area. His fingerprints have been taken and we will do whatever we can to match it with other crime scenes.”

The Commissioner of Police has since ordered an internal investigation into the incident to determine what transpired and if their police officers used unjustifiable force to catch a suspected burglar. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

The Police Department, in accordance with its usual practice, has declined to identify the officer who fired the fatal shot.

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