WINDSOR HEIGHTS, St Ann — An off-duty detective corporal died yesterday after he was shot in the head by a gunman as he went to visit his child in Windsor Heights in this parish.
Corporal Ransford Durrant, who was assigned to the St James Division but lived in St Ann, was reportedly taking groceries to the home where the child lives when he was ambushed, just metres away. He was not armed.
"Di bag dem all down deh pon di groun," said one of the residents who gathered on the scene.
"A good policeman dat. Mi nuh know why dem would want to kill him," a man added.
Sergeant Peter Salkey, who turned up at the scene, said the St James police were saddened by Durrant's death.
"Most of the police officers down there knew him," he said. "It is not a comforting feeling when we lose a colleague... but it is even a graver feeling when we lose them in this way," Sergeant Salkey added.
Outgoing head of the St Ann Police, Superintendent Dudley Scott said officers in St Ann were shocked as Durrant was well known in the parish, having worked there before being transferred to St James.
"It is a very sombre moment for every member of this organisation," Superintendent Scott said.
"We are appealing to members of the public for whatever information that they have. Please do not hesitate to inform us," he added.
Scott also sought to reassure St Ann residents that the police would continue to carry out their duties without fear.
"We are recommitting our efforts to the people to ensure the safety of this parish and the nation on a whole," he said, as he urged his colleagues to "stand resolute and don't be disheartened by the criminal or criminal elements in this parish".
He also vowed that the police would "use every resource available to ensure that these culprits are brought to justice".
The killing of the officer comes at a time when Superintendent Scott is being transferred to Area Two, while former head of the St James police Egbert Parkinson takes over as head of St Ann.
Yesterday the Police High Command condemned the killing and said it had ordered a "top-level probe" into the incident.