Beetham residents and police engaged in a tense stand-off yesterday after officers shot at a man who had attacked another man.
Residents were in uproar after the shooting, saying police in an unmarked vehicle stopped suddenly along the Priority Bus Route, alighted from their car and began shooting at people liming near the All in One Child Development Centre.
The confrontation led to a lockdown of the bus route with officers diverting traffic to the Eastern Main Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway.
Police said that at 2.45 pm, Colin Guy was driving in the Beetham area and on nearing the centre he was attacked and shot in the hip by another man. At the same time, officers of the Homicide Investigations Bureau were passing along the bus route in an unmarked car and saw the shooting incident.
The officers challenged the gunman and a shootout ensued. The gunman jumped into a river near the school and escaped. While all of this was taking place, a wounded Guy drove himself to hospital.
Residents are however disputing this version claiming that the police arrived and without warning, opened fire on people liming near the centre.
“It wasn’t no raid, no exercise or nothing,” said a man who claimed to be an eyewitness.
“They just started to buss shots. Them fellas was just sitting down right there, not doing anything, so when police start to shoot behind them they started to run. People saying that they shoot back behind police but I didn’t see that.
Residents, many of them women, challenged police officers chastising them for being reckless by shooting near a daycare centre.
“They are mad people!” said one angry resident. “Is shoot they shooting near a school. Anyone could have picked up a bullet, whether is a teacher or one of the children! They only shooting behind we black head chicken (sic)! Why don’t they go John John and do that,” a resident shouted. In the end, the officers left the scene with no arrests being made.