Four members of the security forces shot, injured in St James

IRONSHORE, St James — At least four members of the security forces were shot and injured during Saturday’s operation in the upscale Ironshore area of St James, in which alleged fugitive Niko Samuels, otherwise called ‘Bowza,’ was shot and killed.

The condition of the injured lawmen could not be ascertained up to press time.

Initial reports are that two of the lawmen who were a part of the team that went to apprehend Samuels were shot and injured during the gun battle, which reportedly started about 1:45 pm and lasted for more than an hour.

Two handguns were reportedly found at the scene of the shooting.

Samuels, who was on the police’s most wanted list, was being sought in connection with a triple murder committed last year.

Yesterday, members of the security forces were observed combing sections of the Ironshore community in search of other men who are believed to be involved in the attack on the lawmen.

“We believe that other persons were involved in the brazen attack on the party that went in search of Samuels, and we believe too that there were other weapons, particularly a rifle, involved,” a senior lawman told the Observer.

It was reported that about 1:45 pm, members of a joint police/military team, acting on information, went to an apartment in Ironshore to apprehend Samuels.

It is reported that on arrival, the lawmen came under heavy gunfire. The police returned the fire.

And while speaking at an East Central St James fundraising dinner on Saturday night at the Jewel Grande Resort and Spa in Rose Hall, a few miles for where the incident occurred, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the security forces acted with great patience and restraint during the incident, adding that no bystander was injured.

He added that the life of one of the injured lawmen was saved by his ballistic vest.

The parish of St James has been under a state of public emergency since January.

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