Police Search – 1 Dead, 1 in Critical Condition

Acting Police Commissioner Vernon Francois.

Acting Police Commissioner Vernon Francois.

Family and friends of 28-year-old Jason Warrican alias ‘Breadman’ and 26-year-old Troy ‘Kimroy’ Simon are outraged.  They suspect foul play in Warrican’s death and Simon’s injuries and are calling for justice.

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, gunfire shook residents of Bois Patat, Morne Du Don from their sleep.  Police were in the area executing two simultaneous search warrants at the men’s residences.  As cops tell it, a confrontation ensued between police and the men about 4:30am.  The police opened fire.  Warrican was killed while Simon was critically injured.

Acting Commissioner of Police Vernon Francois revealed the search was not random.  In fact, the two men were suspects in the shooting  death on Saturday January 8 of Chris Jean Paul.  Jean Paul, alias Kelly of Morne Du Don, was gunned down near his home around 10pm.  The spent shells recovered from the scene were that of a .380 firearm.

Said Francois, “The officers surrounded his [Simon] dwelling house. They called out to him, police. There was some subsequent confrontation between the police and Kimroy as he attempted to escape through a back window. He was shot by the police in the upper part of the body. He was taken to Victoria Hospital. We recovered in the house a .380 revolver with seven rounds of ammunition. That is in police custody and forms part of our investigations.”

Francois went further to reveal while executing the search warrant at Warrican’s residence, there was also a confrontation between the police and Warrican.  Warrican was shot and subsequently taken to Victoria Hospital where he was pronounced Dead on Arrival.  A .380 firearm with four rounds of ammunition was recovered on the compound.

The men’s loved ones give a different version of events from the police. They vehemently denied either of the men was in possession of any firearm and say it is even more farfetched to believe the men tried to engage the police with gun fire.

One man, who asked not to be identified, said information reaching him is that police kicked in Warrican’s door, dragged him outside and shot him.  When the man went to the scene of the incident, he did see the damaged door but was confused by the blood trail.   He supports the theory the police tried to cover their indiscretions by cleaning the blood from the scene using water and disinfectant.

Simon’s family member gave a similar story saying when Simon answered the door, the police entered with their guns blazing.

An Inspector of Police has been assigned to conduct an investigation into the year’s first police shooting.  Simon is still in critical condition at VH.
News reaching the STAR indicates Warrican currently has a case in the Criminal High Court.  He was accused of Attempted Murder, Possession of Firearm and Possession of Ammunition.  He was released on bail. As Simon recovers, he is expected to be charged with Possession of a Firearm and Possession of Ammunition.

Attorney General Lorenzo Rudolph Francis revealed in December his ministry will be cracking down on anyone caught with an illegal firearm.  It is left to see how Simon’s case will play out in court with the AG’s stance.

Meanwhile, the epic saga of the Police Force versus Joe Public has continued into the New Year.  No headway can be made to combat criminals and illicit activities if these two entities are on opposing sides.  Bridging the gap is not as simple as some would like to believe.

Francois cautioned citizens, especially those who are constantly reviewing actions taken by the Police Force.

“I have said to the public to cooperate but it is up to them. We are saying that if you do not want to cooperate, not to interfere because it’s a situation we have to deal with but we are going to employ legal means of dealing with it,” Francois said.

The Acting Commissioner plans to tackle crime head on this year.  “We are focusing our attention on anybody or any group we have reason to believe that is involved in criminal activities. So if we are of the view that the gangs are involved in criminal activities, we will definitely pursue them and that is what we are about. We are proposing to deal with the crime problem we have in this country and if it involves directly targeting people from the communities who are involved in criminal activity then we are going to do it,” Francois warned.

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