(CNS) Updated 2:40pm Friday: The RCIPS has confirmed that a man was shot and killed by police officers early this morning in the Windsor Park area of George Town. Police said the incident occurred during a pre-planned firearms operation, for which they had a search warrant to look for both a firearm and the 34-year-old suspect who was killed. Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said that a loaded handgun was recovered from the scene, but because an investigation of the incident is now underway, he declined to comment further on the details of the shooting.
Unofficial sources suggested that the suspect was a Jamaican who was in the Cayman Islands illegally and that he had fired on the police officers.
The RCIPS said that the operation to execute a firearms warrant and detain a 34-year-old Jamaican man was initiated this morning, 6 January, around 5:30am, at an address on Theresa Drive in Windsor Park. It was carried out by officers from the Tactical Firearms Unit, who are highly trained in firearms deployment and operational searches.
During this operation the suspect exited the premises with a firearm; a number of shots were fired and the suspect was injured, police confirmed.
Two tactical medical officers, one of whom is an advanced EMT, were part of the operation. They immediately provided primary medical aid to the suspect and executed basic life support protocols until the ambulance arrived. He was transported to Cayman Islands Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:16am.
At a press briefing today CoP Byrne said that a full RCIPS investigation has begun and a senior officer has been appointed. Post-incident procedures have been carried out today in line with RCIPS policy and a post-mortem examination will take place in the coming days. However, in order to ensure transparency and independence, the RCIPS has asked the Bermuda Police Service to provide officers to lead the investigation into the incident.
Two senior officers from Bermuda will be arriving on island this weekend to take over the investigation and prepare a report in due course. Byrne said that there was no deadline for this and they would be given as much time as they needed and whatever support they required from the RCIPS.
It is believed that this incident is the first ever fatal shooting by RCIPS officers in the course of their duties. CoP Byrne confirmed that, as per the RCIPS employee assistance welfare programme, full support and counselling services are being provided to the two officers who were directly involved in this morning’s shootout and are available to any officer.
“This is a dramatic incident for the officers. There no doubt about it,” the commissioner added.
A woman was arrested at the scene for an unrelated incident, police said.