What was thought to be a domestic dispute between the soldier and his wife at home turned out to be a shooting and assault drama involving a third player: a policeman.
Reports from the police are that about midnight on Thursday, a police constable attached to the St Catherine South Proactive Investigations Unit was gun-butted and shot in the region of his left shoulder by a Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) corporal, who had returned to his home and saw the policeman and his wife in a compromising position.
The Gleaner gathered that the policeman, in a bid to escape the rage of the army man, ran through the back door in the nude, leaving behind his service pistol.
He was later assisted to the Spanish Town Hospital by a passing motorist, where he was treated and released.
When The Gleaner visited the community yesterday, neighbours were openly talking about the incident, which they said was a new dawn in the middle-income housing scheme.
A neighbour told The Gleaner that the married couple had been living at the location for little more than a year.
“I am not even sure if the policeman has died … . Ohhh! He got shot in his shoulder? Him lucky,” a resident said to our news team.
Another resident said: “We just heard some sounds around the back there, but more time the dogs and the puss dem around there, so we weren’t sure. Others say they saw a man running over there. We couldn’t sleep. The police were here and some military personnel. Everybody was up looking out through windows and from verandas.”
Some neighbours expressed disappointment that an infant was allegedly at the house at the time of the incident.
“They (husband and wife) have a very young baby, too, about six months old. We saw him last night. After the incident, he was walking with the child while the police were doing their investigation. Later, someone came – I think the grandmother – and took the child,” the resident said.
Residents told The Gleaner that they were unaware of any issues between the married couple who they described as warm and neighbourly.
A resident said: “I don’t think there is any domestic issue between them. What we understand is that the soldier man was on duty, came back unexpectedly, and caught the other police inside there. He dashed through the back and was shot. You catch a man in yuh bed and yuh shoot him. It could have been much worse. All now we don’t sleep.”
A resident of more than 25 years said it was the first time that he had seen police yellow tape drawn in the community.
“I didn’t hear the shot. We just saw the blue flashing light, and then we see everybody start come out looking, wondering what transpired. We not used to that around here. I thought somebody was dead when I saw the big crime-scene truck. Nobody couldn’t go back to sleep after the excitement,” the resident said.
The residents also expressed concern that the woman would be viewed in a particular light. “We know her good, and we know the man (soldier) good, too. You can’t have a child, a six-month-old baby, and start that already in that manner (matrimonial home). People may begin to question the paternity of the child. They may also have a breakdown of the marriage because mi nuh see how dem can live in a that deh house deh again,” the resident reasoned.
Up to press time, Major Basil Jarrett, civil military cooperation and media affairs officer at the JDF, could not be reached as his phone rang without an answer.
This incident follows last month’s murder-suicide, also in Greater Portmore, involving another JDF soldier, Doran McKenzie, who is believed to have chopped and shot his 34-year-old common-law wife, Suianne Easy, to death, then turned a gun on himself.
The Inspectorate of Constabulary has launched a probe into the incident.