Cops cut down gunman on FBI most wanted list

VIVIAN TYSON, Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, March 23, 2004    

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A man who was shot dead in a gun battle with the police Sunday night in Montego Bay was yesterday identified as Hopeton Eric Brown, the number two man on the FBI's most wanted list.

Brown, 33, who had homes at both Canterbury and Lilliput in St James, was killed during a running gun battle with the police in Barrett Town, Montego Bay.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Dave Hyman said the police went on an operation in Barrett Town, where they came under heavy gunfire from a group of gunmen. The gunfire, he said, lasted for a "number of minutes" during which a member of the police team, Sydney Brevett, was grazed on the arm by a bullet from gunman's weapon.

Following the shooting, Brown was found suffering from bullet wounds and was taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said one of the gunmen was held and taken into custody, while another escaped.

Two guns, according to the police, were taken from Brown's body. One of the guns, a Carbon 15 pistol, was loaded with 15 rounds of .56 bullets. The other, a Colt .45 pistol, had five live rounds.

Three motor cars - a silver Honda, licensed 2574 DN; a silver Toyota Corolla, registered 3490 DX, and a white Toyota Corolla, licensed 8527 EB, which the police theorised to be stolen by the men, were removed from the premises.

A mask was also found at the premises.

The police believe Brown, just hours before his death, was among five armed men who shot and killed Romaine Salmon, and shot and injured Nicholas Chin and Christopher Roberts in Barrett Town, a neighboring community to Liliput.

The three were sitting on a wall during a dance in Barrett Town when the five men approached them, and began to harass one the three men, forcing Salmon to intervene, said a police spokesman.

He said the armed men then opened fire hitting all three men, killing Salmon on the spot. The other two were also hit and were taken to hospital where they were admitted in serious, but stable condition.

Brown, the police said yesterday, also went by the aliases Anthony Brisco, Simon Plested, Devon Foster, Eric Brown, Omar Brown, Richard Omar Kennedy, Sandokam, Sando and Shawn.

Superintendent John Morris, the crime chief for Area One, said he was wanted by the FBI for drug trafficking, murder and conspiracy to murder.

The Jamaican police also wanted Brown for a number of crimes including a 2001 double murder in Mt Salem.

In addition, the police said Brown was involved in a power struggle in Canterbury with another St James wanted man, resulting in several murders in that community.




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