POLICE yesterday foiled an armed robbery in the Jamaican capital, Kingston, killing one of the gunmen and injuring another. However, two of their cronies escaped during a blazing battle along the busy city streets.
The gunmen, police said, went to Larry’s Haberdashery on Princess Street in downtown Kingston and attempted to rob the store about 10:30 am, but their plan was cut short when a police patrol from the Denham Town station was alerted, and the heavily armed officers wasted no time in taking on the criminals.
Eyewitnesses said the armed men tried to escape when the police arrived, and during a chase through the streets one of the men opened fire at the policemen, who returned the fire, forcing shoppers to flee in several directions.
The chase ended in a car park at the West Street/Pechon Street intersection where two of the men were shot. Both were taken to hospital where one was pronounced dead and the other admitted.
The dead man remained unidentified up to press time last night.
Meanwhile, one of the two gunmen who managed to elude the police became the victim of ‘jungle justice’ as he was shot dead on Pink Lane by gunmen who, the Jamaica Observer was told, said they do not want petty thieves in their community.
That report was not, however, confirmed by the Constabulary Communication Network, the police’s information arm.
Yesterday’s incident came a day after police shot dead a gunman on Matthews Lane, a hotbed in downtown Kingston. That man, police reported, was wanted for several murders and was part of a network of criminals extorting money from business operators in the city’s commercial district.
In another incident in downtown Kingston yesterday, a man was chased, shot and injured by gunmen close to the Central Police Station.
According to the police, about 2:00 pm the man was walking along George’s Lane when he was attacked and shot several times. He was taken to hospital but his condition was still not known up to press time last night.
Police have, in the meantime, warned that they have rolled out an aggressive drive to rid the streets of downtown Kingston of crime and to win back the confidence of lawabiding citizens and the business community.