Brawl Escalates to Police-Involved Shooting in San Pedro
The police say they are carrying out a thorough investigation of an early morning shooting in San Pedro. Since Saturday morning, two videos have been circulating on social media. In one the police are seen manhandling a handcuffed woman, pinning her down and then hitting her. That incident happened at about four o’clock on Saturday morning on Barrier Reef Drive. That incident apparently triggered a second and dangerous confrontation also captured by video. Police are caught firing at least fourteen shots to stop a brawl. Many persons are seen at the scene as the shots ricocheted off the concrete street, injuring as many as five persons. The behavior of who appear to be trigger-happy cops has sparked outrage in the community. We start coverage with News Five’s Duane Moody.
Two officers attached to the Quick Response Team of the San Pedro Police Formation, PCs Norman Coye and Darnell Madrill, are tonight under investigation following a shooting in the heart of the island. A team from the Professional Standards Branch was deployed over the weekend to determine, if any, the infractions committed by the officers.
“At around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, the unthinkable would happen. As Patrons of the popular Daddy Rock Nightclub were retiring for the night, an altercation ensued with on-duty police officers. Within minutes, this escalated to a shooting, at the hands of the officers, injuring four residents.”
Alfredo Cowo, Shooting Victim
“When I turn around and I notice something just knock me dah my eye and when I touch mi eye, I feel like I di bleed, but I neva see dah what cause as I turn, ih knock me. Afterwards, Coye…he just start shoot up about the place and the bullet touch me. Right now I got about fifteen pellets right now I have to take out of mi foot.”
The shooting was an unorthodox approach used by the officers to quell a fight that started between two women around four a.m. inside the Central Park. PCs Madrill and Coye, along with one PC Magaña, responded. But the telling amateur footage shows one of the women on the ground, screaming out, before being hit multiple times to the head and body. Her attacker is in fact a police officer, who was not dressed in uniform.
“I see wah commotion and when I gone closer and see, I see police di beat wah female. When I reach closer I haul out my phone and start video. And one of the police officers from the San Pedro QRT Team, name PC Madril, notice that I mi di video. And he come up to me and ask me for my phone and I refused. And then he knock me ina my nose and make my nose start bleed and then the next police grab me from the back and put me pan wah lock.”
While Cowo was injured to the foot by bullet fragments and late this afternoon received initial treatment for the injuries; his brother Jose was also hit to the leg. Several others including a female and Enfield Henry Garcia, were injured in the shooting. Initially, Garcia received treatment at the San Pedro Polyclinic before he was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for a bullet lodged in his eye.
Enfield Henry (Garcia), Shooting Victim
“I deh turn this way from the street di talk to my son and when I heard the first two shots and when I turn around I heard about three or four more shots…the total dah about five or six shots I hear when I probably get hit. But the police officer he mi di shoot pa the ground. When I turn around back I feel my face numb and warm. And dah when I do my hand so, I tell my son boy I get shot. And I shock, I get shock and he hail the police and tell ahn, “Norman you shot my pan.” I mi deh like probably wah twenty, twenty-five feet away from them, which part deh di shoot cause dehn pan di street in front of Heritage [Bank]; dah out there he and the bwai them end up. Dah out deh dehn end up and we deh ina di park di stand up.”
Police confirmed that up to five persons were injured in the melee…but many more were pistol-whipped by the officers. Aside from the woman who was physically beaten by a male officer and those who were injured after the shots were fired; the amateur video also shows an off-duty police officer, pulling out a firearm before hitting another resident multiple times to the head.
“He haul out ih gun, but instead of he shoot the warning shot up, he shoot it pan the street. And according to what I heard too, dah noh only me one get injured; dah like four or five other people get injured on that same night.”
“Sir, as an observer to this situation, did you think that it was necessary for that police to fire off his gun like that to handle the situation?”
“No, I noh think so. If dehn wah shoot off a warning shot, I think they trained enough to know that a warning shot fi shoot ina di air and not on the ground.”
Reporting for News Five from San Pedro, I am Duane Moody.