Residents of the usually quiet community of St D'Acre, St Ann are seething today following the fatal shooting of one of their own allegedly by a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) yesterday.
The dead man has been identified as 43-year-old Glester Dwayne White, otherwise known as Craig, a farmer and mason of St D'Acre.
White's common-law wife, 34-year-old Dione Palmer, told the Observer that a neighbour sent her two children to collect water from a tank in the yard in which she lives with her family.
According to Palmer, White told the children that they should not catch any water in his yard as he was the one paying the lease for the land and had been the only one who fixed the tank.
“She [the mother of the two children] came down and start cursing, say a parish council responsible for the land so anybody can ketch water on it,” said Palmer.
She said White reportedly proceeded to destroy the buckets which the children had carried to carry water, triggering an escalation of the argument.
Palmer alleged that her neighbour's daughter contacted her boyfriend, who is a member of the JCF, and when the off duty cop arrived the argument became even more heated.
“Me and Jaydon stand up on the verandah and him say, 'Mommy, mommy them shoot daddy,' “ said Palmer in reference to their five-year-old son who reportedly witnessed the shooting.
The little boy was later heard saying: “The police tell him [White] to step back and me hear bow, bow, and him drop and him head turn over.”
According to residents, the water tank was used by the entire community before White moved to the area, but his common-law wife contended that it had several leaks which he spent his money to fix.
Following the fatal shooting of the father of five, who was described as hard-working, his neighbours turned their wrath on the policeman and hurled several missiles at him.
A car believed to belong to the policeman, who police sources say was chopped by White, and a house where it is said the cop's girlfriend and her mother lived, were set ablaze by the angry residents who told the Observer that the policeman and his girlfriend's family have since fled the community.
Deputy Superintendent Kevon Chambers of the St Ann Police Division told the Observer that a full probe is now underway and the cop is in hospital being treated.
“This is a very quiet community and the police will ensure that the investigation is done,” said Chambers.
He said the police will maintain a presence in the area to prevent the incident from escalating, and that the Child Protection and Family Services Agency will be contacted to provide the five-year-old, who allegedly witnessed the killing of his father, with adequate support.