Jamaica police have launched a manhunt following the fatal shooting of one of their colleagues – Corporal Melvin Smith, late Friday. It’s reported that Smith, 38, who was assigned to the Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), in the central parish of Manchester, was on duty when he was shot and killed.
The police say that shortly after 8:00pm (local time), Smith was assisting a man who was robbed of his motorcycle.
Shot several times
“It became a running gun battle. The man gave chase after the thieves who fell from the motorcycle and subsequently got up and ran away. Another man opened fire, hitting Corporal Smith several times. He himself managed to return fire, but he collapsed and was taken to hospital where he died ….“ said head of the Manchester police, Superintendent Wayne Cameron.
The robbery victim who was also shot, was admitted to hospital in stable condition.
Police commissioner issues statement
In the aftermath of the incident, Police Commissioner George Quallo, said in a statement that everything will be done to find the killers. He said it was unfortunate that while performing his duty, Smith met “such cruelty and callousness.”
Jamaica Police Federation
And the Jamaica Police Federation, the body that represents the rank and file members of the JCF, says stronger action must be taken against those found guilty of killing members of the Force.
According to the Chairman of the Federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, when members of the Force are killed, it shows a lack of regard for national security.
Security minister appeals
Meanwhile, National Security Minister Robert Montague is appealing to residents to provide information which can help in the capture of Smith’s killers. In a statement, Montague expressed regret at the killing, adding that the JCF has lost a valuable member, as Smith played an integral role in Police Youth Clubs in Manchester.
For more on the volatile situation regarding Jamaica police, click the link: Members of the Jamaican police force have been warned to be on high alert