45-minute gun battle between security forces, men leaves two dead

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A 45-minute gun battle that reportedly saw a joint police/military team coming under gunfire from men in trees and on rooftops, ended with two men being fatally shot by the security forces in a section of Rose Heights, St James on Thursday night.

The police said two firearms were also seized.

According to operation head for the St James Police Division, Deputy Superintendent Linroy Edwards, the joint police-military team was conducting an operation in the Sean Crescent area of Rose Heights about 9:40pm Thursday.

He said that a group of men converged at a section of the community and upon seeing the police-military team, the men reportedly opened gunfire in their direction. 

“We responded and returned the fire, and the men continued to challenge us, firing from rooftops, trees, and neighbouring premises. The shooting was intense and lasted about 45 minutes to an hour,” DSP Edwards said.

After the shooting subsided, the two wounded men were found and the firearms seized.

“They were taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where they were pronounced dead upon arrival. No member of the security team was injured during the gun battle,” he said.

Members of the security forces up to late Friday morning combing the area for other suspects.

Earlier Thursday, the police also arrested two females on reasonable suspicion of being in possession of a prohibited weapon.

The operation forms part of the St James police’s anti-crime initiative, code named “Operation Storm”, which was launched on Monday. Operation Storm is aimed at targeting gangs in Montego Bay, St James.

The police say several suspects have been detained since the launch of the operation on Monday.