(JAMAICA GLEANER) — Five people are now in custody as the police investigate the murder of their colleague, Constable Kirkland Plummer, and the fatal shooting of one of his alleged attackers in the deep rural community of Harwood, in northern Clarendon, on Saturday night.
When the Jamaica Observer visited the area yesterday, residents declined to comment on the incident, which occurred at an entertainment event held in contravention of the Disaster Risk Management Act.
Under the Act, the Government has imposed an all-island curfew which starts at 9:00 nightly.
Police Commission Major General Antony Anderson said yesterday that the five people were held in a series of coordinated operations in connection with Saturday night’s event and the investigation into Constable Plummer’s killing.
Though the community, which is close to Sanguinetti, is located in Clarendon, it is under the jurisdiction of the Manchester Police Division. And, according to a police report, Plummer is from a nearby community in northern Clarendon.
Head of the Manchester police, Superintendent Gary Francis, told the Observer yesterday that the incident unfolded about 9:40 pm.
He said Plummer responded to loud explosions and disarmed a gunman at the event, but he was attacked and shot.
“Explosions were heard at a party in the community and Constable Plummer made inquiries… He was in the process of making an arrest and met up on resistance,” Superintendent Francis said.
“He called for assistance, and during the process a man was shot and a firearm was retrieved, but the patrons in the party hurled [stones] and shot him [Plummer], and he succumbed to his injury,” Francis added.
The other man who was fatally shot has been identified as 27-year-old Dwayne Schloss.
Constable Plummer’s licensed firearm was retrieved from the scene, along with a Browning 9mm pistol with ammunition, which he reportedly took from Schloss.
Superintendent Francis yesterday issued an appeal for the public’s assistance in the investigation.
“We are asking anyone that can assist us with any information pertaining to our investigation to come forward,” he said.
He also expressed condolence to Plummer’s family and colleagues.
“We also want to reassure that we will continue until we bring the killers of Constable Plummer to justice,” he added.
General Anderson, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang, and the Jamaica Police Federation have since condemned the policeman’s killing.
Referring to the incident as “barbaric”, Dr Chang said he is “deeply disturbed at the incident, which once again underscores the extent to which some hoodlums are willing to go to attack the police and defy efforts to enforce the law and ensure that good order prevails in society”.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Police Federation is appealing to the Government for more crime-fighting measures and resources for police officers.
“The Police Federation is calling the actions of citizens barbaric, callous, inhumane, and wicked after the brutal murder of Constable Kirkland Plummer,” it said in a statement yesterday.
“The federation is also challenging the Government to demonstrate their commitment to crime fighting by making stronger laws, especially those treating with firearms, as well as more resources for police officers, to include greater benefits. Policing in Jamaica is high risk and very dangerous,” the federation added.