Gunmen slip police dragnet
KINGSTON – Two gunmen, who it was believed had taken employees hostage at the Juici Patties outlet at the corner of Beckford and West streets in downtown Kingston late Saturday evening and held police at bay for hours, managed to elude a large dragnet of police, soldiers and negotiators outside the establishment.
At the end of the near five-hour stand-off, which began at about 5:30 p.m., there were more questions than answers as the police were unable to say at what point the gunmen escaped and via what route.
“I can’t say what is the situation with the gunmen,” said Karl Angel, the constabulary’s director of communication.
“I can report that the four hostages in the building are secure and unharmed,” said Angel. “They were debriefed and are receiving counselling.”
News later emerged that the four employees who were in the building for well over two hours, and who were believed to have been held against their will, had locked themselves in bathrooms and only exited when they felt it was safe to do so.
According to one man who said he witnessed what happened, the gunmen were still inside when the police reinforcements came.
He claimed that the gunmen had posed as customers and waited until the shutters had been drawn halfway down, signalling closing time, to make their move. (Jamaica Observer)