TRAFFIC in the usually busy Half-Way-Tree square was diverted for several hours yesterday afternoon after a man believed to be of unsound mind relieved a police constable of his Glock service pistol and went on a wild, but short-lived shooting spree, injuring two civilians.
The man is said to have run into the bus layby in the direction of Constant Spring Road, then fired close to 10 shots in the direction of Half-Way-Tree Road.
The Constabulary Force Corporate Communications Unit confirmed the incident in a skeletal late afternoon release to the media, but promised to give more information as the investigation proceeds.
However, a police source, which spoke to the Jamaica Observer on condition of anonymity given the force’s media policy, said that as is customary when there is to be a shift change, a Toyota Hiace service vehicle was parked close to the clock just outside the layby just after 2:00 pm. The constable, a fresh graduate of the National Police Academy who has been assigned to the traffic division, was standing behind the bus when the mentally challenged man reportedly sneaked up behind him and disarmed him.
“I understand he pulled both the gun and the holster from the man’s waist,” the source said.
Another police source added: “It look like him used to gun cause him cock it as it come out (of the holster).
An off-duty policeman who was in the vicinity came to the rescue by shooting the man and recovered the pistol.
Apparently commiserating with his young colleague, one of the sources pointed to the number of people of unsound mind in the
St Andrew capital.
“It could have happened to anybody because a nuff madman deh ah Half-Way-Tree. An’ mi hear say is not one of the regulars, is a new one,” the source said.
The assailant and the civilians were taken to hospital.
The police information unit said the incident has been reported to the Independent Commission of Investigations.