MAIN IMAGE: Chief Superintendent of Police Chrislyn Skippings issued a warning to criminals after an officer was shot in the face yesterday. LEFT: A SWAT officer stands guard at the scene where a fellow officer was shot. RIGHT: Police officers at the scene yesterday.
By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THREE people are in custody after an island-wide search following the shooting of a police officer in his face yesterday morning.
The incident took place during a routine patrol of Robinson Road. Officers with Operation Ceasefire were patrolling the area when they saw three men speeding west in a black Nissan Note.
When they signalled with their lights for the vehicle to stop, a passenger in the back seat of the car allegedly fired at them, shooting an officer in a police cruiser in his face.
The 31-year-old officer was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.
Chief Superintendent of Police Michael Johnson said an aggressive, island-wide search began, leading to three men being detained in custody in connection with the incident. Officers found the Nissan Note in Garden Hills near a track road by a community park. With help from officers of the K9 Unit, police discovered a large quantity of suspected marijuana in the area, in addition to the car.
Two of the suspects who are now in custody are on bail for other offences. One is being electronically monitored in connection with a murder charge.
CSP Johnson expressed concern about escalating crimes committed by people on bail.
“They continue to offend although being on bail and continue to offend for the same type of serious matter that they are on bail for,” he said, adding: “We will not be discouraged.”
CSP Johnson couldn’t give data on the number of injuries police officers have sustained on duty in recent years, but said the Robinson Road shooting is the most severe incident they have had this year.
CSP Chrislyn Skippings issued a warning to criminals.
“We will not tolerate your behaviour, we will not,” she said during a brief press conference on Robinson Road.
“We will not tolerate you seeking to engage police officers who are authorised to protect the citizens of this great country. When you seek to engage police officers, I can say to you police officers are qualified to have the necessary training which could likely result in someone who seeks to engage the police being fatally wounded.
“We are going to be resolute, we are going to be firm, we are not tolerating this type of behaviour and you will see an aggressive approach on criminals. We are actually waging war on the criminals to take back this Bahamas. We will not tolerate it.”
Before a Cabinet meeting yesterday, National Security Minister Wayne Munroe also discussed the incident.
“The public should know, as the commissioner has said, that saturation patrol is the strategy the police are using. That will mean the police will come into contact, more likely than not, with people who are up to no good, up to menacing our society,” he said.
“We continue to say and this is an example that the police, when threatened with lethal force, will respond with lethal force, and these people who decide that they want to be menaces to our society, the only line between us and them is the police.
“And so I encourage the public to look at this whole thing in the context that the more patrol vehicles we put on the streets, the more likely police are to come across these persons who are wreaking havoc and that will increase the likelihood of confrontation between them and police.”