Cops, gunmen clash in foiled Denham Town attack
KINGSTON – Forty men with high-powered weapons, who the police believe are members of the Young Generation gang, sprayed the Denham Town Police Station with bullets in the wee hours of yesterday morning after cops thwarted their plans to attack rival gangsters in the community.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) St George Jackson told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the ongoing conflict between members of the Young Generation gang in Tivoli Gardens and another gang in Denham Town is responsible for the shooting rampage in West Kingston.
ASP Jackson said that about 12:30 a.m. the gunmen attempted to launch an attack on gangsters in the neighbouring community via Industrial Terrace, in the vicinity of the May Pen Cemetery and Spanish Town Road.
However, the gunmen stumbled upon the police and a 30-minute shoot-out ensued, he said.
“They encountered the police and immediately started firing at the police and the police station in what was sustained gunfire from them. The police reacted in defence of the police facility, their own lives and the lives of those who would be their target, and so a major shoot-out occurred,” Jackson told the Observer.
The ASP, who was quick to point out that the police were mindful of the residents and maintained a professional stance, said no one was injured in the shoot-out but that one of the police station’s windows was shattered.
When the Observer visited the police station yesterday, a police officer was overheard saying: “You think this place is a joke place. Them going to wait until when them kill two police before them do something.”
According to Jackson, the police will continue to pursue the gang members and maintain a presence in communities where there are “armed gang conflicts”.
He also said that the Independent Commission of Investigations is probing the incident.
With the increased incidence of violence in West Kingston, as rival gangs grapple for control of turf, both the Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Defence Force have strategically placed their members at hotspots within the communities, acting as buffers between rival gangs.
However, despite the buffers, gunmen are determined to launch attacks.
“Just last night (Monday) there was contact between a JDF patrol team and gunmen in the vicinity of Tulip Lane, Denham Town, when gunmen opened fire on the patrol team. Fortunately, no innocent civilians were hurt in the exchange, but this demonstrates the frustration of the gunmen and their willingness to engage us as a result of our interfering presence,” Civil Military Cooperation and Media Affairs Officer at the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Major Basil Jarrett told the Observer. (Jamaica Observer)