SEVERAL residents of Rae Town in east Kingston took to the streets Sunday morning in a fiery protest over the fatal shooting by the police of three teenagers from the community, in an alleged shoot-out.
The police report that they received reports of a group of young men carrying out a series of robberies in the area around Rae Town on Saturday night into Sunday morning.
The men reportedly stole cellular phones, cash, and other items in at least four incidents.
Using the tracking device on one of the stolen phones, a police team was dispatched to premises on Paradise Street in the area.
Jamaica Observer sources say that about 4:15 am the police arrived at the premises and were greeted with gunfire.
The police returned fire and when the shooting ended, three men were found with gunshot wounds. They were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.
According to the police, a Taurus 9mm pistol with a magazine containing 12 rounds, and an Arcus 9mm pistol with a magazine containing five rounds were seized following the incident.
It is further reported that some of the victims of the robberies were able to identify the dead men as among those who had stolen from them, and a number of the stolen items were identified.
The dead men have since been identified as Carlo Faulknor, otherwise called CJ, from Paradise Street; Andre “Max” Turner from Johns Street; and Shaheed Morgan, better known as Tinado, also from Johns Street.
But residents, who identified the three as fishermen, challenged the police version of events as they demanded justice in a protest staged close to the entrance of Rae Town Fishing Beach.
“Three little innocent boys dem kill, dem don’t even reach 20 yet,” said one of the protesting residents who gave her name only as Cindy.
She joined other residents in questioning police claims that the men were armed, and questioned what she alleged was the absence of any spent shells on the scene.
“If unnu even find gun, carry dem in nuh. Mi si unnu carry big bad man who have big gunâ€¦why unnu couldn’t carry in the three little pickney them? Unnu kill dem, and draw dem throw dem inna jeep, and carry dem weh.
“Not a shoot-out. A dem guh knock up di likkle pickney dem out a dem bed an’ dem seh: ‘Police!’ and dem open di door an’ right away dem kill the innocent youths,” added Cindy as she called for justice.
Late Sunday afternoon assistant commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) Hamish Campbell told the Observer that his team had launched its mandatory probe into the incident.
“At the moment we have the information from the police, of course, and the investigation is still very much in its early hours,” said Campbell as he reiterated much of what had already been reported to the Observer.
“The three young men, they were all 19 years old and they were all identified as fishermen from the Rae Town community. So, as I say, it’s very early hours and we are still trying to assess the situation and get the full facts. But, INDECOM attended the scene, [have] taken photographs [of the scene], recovered the weapons from the police officers and the weapons allegedly found on the gunmen, and inquiries are continuing
“Four police officers attended the scene. Three of those police officers fired their weapons; the fourth officer did not fire,” added Campbell.