Rose Heights residents accuse cops of killing 22-y-o in cold blood
Residents of Rose Heights in St James were in a militant mood yesterday morning as they made several attempts to block the main road to protest the shooting death of a resident in an alleged confrontation with a police patrol team on Thursday night.
In the incident, 22-year-old Oshane Sterling, popularly known as ‘Pepe’, was shot and killed. Another man, whose identity has not been revealed by the police, was also shot and seriously injured.
According to police reports, at approximately 8:15 p.m., a police team was on patrol in the community when they accosted a group of suspicious-looking men. One of the men reportedly pulled a firearm from his waistband but was shot before he was able to discharge the weapon. The other man was injured as the drama unfolded.
However, the angry residents say that Sterling was killed in cold blood, and other residents had to flee in panic as according to them, the police fired numerous shots at the men as they ran from the scene.
“The Jeep drive up and di police jump out pon de youth dem and start shouting, ‘Weh di gun dem, bwoy?’, and start rough up di youth dem. Dem push some a di youth dem inna dem yard and den mi hear bawling like man a get beating, and den mi start fi hear di shot dem,” a resident told The Gleaner yesterday.
According to the residents, on realising what was happening, the other young men started running away and they were chased by and fired at by the cops.
“Dem (the police) fire a whole heap a shot … . All people inna dem yard a look fi see wah dem a fire after … . A wickedness gwaan, and is all because we live inna poor community. Dem wouldn’t do dat a Ironshore and Spring Farm,” added the resident.
St James, which is under a state of public emergency, is struggling to contain gun violence as the weapon has featured in the vast majority of the more than 90 murders committed in the parish since the start of the year.
Following a recent spike in murders in the parish, including last weekend’s brutal killing of businessman Andrew Chin in the heart of the Montego Bay business district, the police have increased patrols and spot checks in and around volatile communities.