(Jamaica Gleaner) Six fatal shootings by the police in the past 24 hours have pushed the number of police killings since the start of this year to 18.
Two incidents in St Catherine and one in St Andrew have been added to the several now being probed by the Independent Commission of Investigations.
In St Catherine, two men, who the police said engaged them in a shoot-out, were fatally shot and an illegal firearm reportedly seized along the Port Henderson Road.
A short while later, one man was fatally shot when he allegedly opened fire at members of a police party in Bartons.
An illegal firearm was also reportedly seized following that incident.
In the Corporate Area, the usual quiet in the upscale community of Acadia Drive was pierced by explosions about 12:30 yesterday morning.
It was later reported that three men, two said to be from Grants Pen and the other from Smokey Vale, St Andrew, had been killed in a reported shoot-out with the police.
The police reported that a fourth man, who was also travelling in a blue Mitsubishi Outlander car, escaped.
The police said they seized two firearms – a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and a Mack-10 sub-machine gun with twelve 9mm cartridges – following the shooting.
Persons on the scene told The Sunday Gleaner that one of the dead men, identified only as ‘Gapa’, was required to report to the Constant Spring Police Station as a condition of his bail.
They claimed he was heading home after reporting to the station when he was shot.
The other men were identified by their aliases ‘Ratti’ and ‘Matthew’.
Yesterday, executive director of the human-rights group Jamaicans for Justice, Dr Carolyn Gomes, was stunned into silence when news reached her of the killings.
“I am just sitting here with my mouth open,” said Gomes.
“Why are our constituted protectors killing the Jamaican citizens. This news is so very distressing. Eighteen Jamaicans killed by the police in less than 12 days, since the start of the year … this is abominable, this is abysmal, but it’s not unexpected because we haven’t seen any action by either the police or the Ministry of National Security to make it stop.