THE Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has launched a probe into Sunday's fatal police shooting in Montego Bay of a man said to be of unsound mind.
The shooting death of the man, identified as Leslie Miller, brought to 19 the number of civilians killed by the police in the first two weeks of the year.
INDECOM, in a press release yesterday, said the police reported that about 11:25 Sunday morning two officers were on foot patrol when they allegedly observed a man of unsound mind with a knife in his hand sitting in front of the Barnett Street Police Station.
"One officer attempted to accost him and he pulled a machete from his waist and chopped at the officer. Another officer (who was in the police station) saw what was happening and went to the assistance of the officer," INDECOM said. The man, added INDECOM, allegedly sprayed "Pyro insect spray" in the face of the policeman who had gone to assist, then chopped at him.
[The] officer was still trying to apprehend the man, who was constantly backing away, and they all ended up on Church Lane where the man was once again confronted [by another officer on patrol) and told to drop the machete. [But he] chopped at him (the policeman) who moved backwards, missed his step and fell. As the man advanced [the] officer pulled his firearm and fired one shot but fell and hit his head on the concrete," said INDECOM.
It added that the policeman, who had first intervened, realised what was happening, pulled his firearm and fired three shots in the direction of the man who was hit and was subsequently taken to the Cornwall Regional Hospital where he died while undergoing an operation.
The police allegedly also recovered a machete from the incident, said INDECOM.
The commission said its forensics and investigative team processed the scene and the police allegedly involved were interviewed, served with notices, and had their hands swabbed and exhibits collected.
INDECOM has asked persons with information that can assist in the investigations to contact the commission.