THE Clarendon police were last night searching for ex-Jamaica Defence Force soldier Wilbert Pryce who Sunday night allegedly shot dead his mother-in-law, injured his wife and mother of his two children in Bryan's Hill, then went to a nearby community where he was accused of raping a woman.
According to the police, the shootings and rape were the latest in a series of attacks carried out by the former soldier, who was two years ago released from prison where he served a three-year sentence for abusing his wife, Tamara Pryce, who it appeared was the main target of his attack on Sunday.
Tamara Pryce, who was shot multiple times, was last night in hospital in serious condition.
Police said the ex-soldier's mother-in-law, Maxine Fearon, a 45-year-old dressmaker and farmer, was at home on Sunday night with her daughter and other family members when Pryce drove up to the house about 9:45.
"Reports we received are that he went to the house and started to shout that he wanted to see his estranged wife," one police investigator told Jamaica Observer yesterday.
The policeman said the former army man, who apparently became angry when his estranged wife did not come outside to see him, forced his way into the house, after which explosions were heard.
"Reports we received are that he went into the house and opened fire, hitting Fearon, the mother of his wife, who died on the spot," said another investigator. He added that Tamara, in an attempt to escape, ran to a nearby bar where several residents of the community were having a drink.
"A sit me sit down and hear the screams and see when the man run down the woman all the way from her house over to the bar," a resident alleged. The woman, he said, was then shot several times.
"Him run her down [and] shoot her as she entered the bar, and that was when she jumped over the bar counter and tried to escape, and that was when him come over her and shoot her again and cuss a bad word (expletive) and walk away," said another resident, who claimed to have witnessed the shooting.
Glen Fearon, husband of the slain woman, said he had just arrived from work and parked his motor car when he heard the former soldier threatening members of his family.
"When I bend down and look into the yard me see the man a walk around the yard with a gun in him hand and him a beat down the grille to the house," he added
Trembling with fear, Fearon said he made a desperate call to the police, but after more than one hour of trying to get help, he became frustrated and decided to venture to the home.
"I waited for a while, and then it look as if he left, and me start to walk down to the yard," Fearon said, adding that he, too, was attacked by the former soldier.
"While I was walking to the house, him come around, and me and him start to struggle, and him use the gun to hit me in the head," Fearon said, pointing to a bandage on his head. "While I was running me hear several shots. All me a
run me no know what was happening," said the obviously shaken Fearon, who told the Observer that he rushed to the Chapleton Police Station.
Bleeding and worrying for his life, Fearon said he was left disappointed with the response from the police, as they told him to go to the hospital but allegedly asked nothing about the incident.
A brother of the slain woman, who is also a member of the police force, said he was at work when he received a call from his sister that she was being attacked.
He said that he made a desperate attempt to alert police in the area and tried to get to the house.
"She called me on the phone and told me that he was outside. While she was talking to me I heard her scream out for help," said the policeman.
Yesterday, police investigators said they received reports that Pryce, after fleeing the community, went to another area where he was accused of raping a woman.