The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) responded to and commenced investigations into two separate fatal shooting incidents, by the police on the weekend. These separate incidents resulted in the death of two men of unsound mind. Garth Mitchell was fatally shot on January 7 in Montego Hills, and 34 year old Travis Worren was fatally shot on January 8 in Coral Gardens. Both incidents occurred in the parish of St. James.
INDECOM’s investigation involved the processing of the incident scenes, witness canvassing and initial interviews of the concerned officers. These concerned officers will be required to provide a statement and or attend the office of the Commission to be interviewed pursuant to Section 21 of the Independent Commission of Investigations Act, 2010.
From the accounts provided, both incidents involved a request for police response due to reports of attacks by the men of unsound mind in their communities. In each incident, the now deceased men allegedly held on to the firearm of a responding officer. Other officers, present at the scene, discharged their firearms in the direction of the men. Both men were transported to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Mr. Mitchell was confirmed by his family members to suffer from a mental illness. It is alleged that the police went in pursuit of Mr. Mitchell, due to a report of unlawful wounding and destruction of property. During the pursuit, it is alleged that Mitchell held on to the M16 rifle of a police officer and bit the said officer. Other members of the responding team, discharged their weapon in the direction of Mr. Mitchell.
Mr. Worren, a man of unsound mind, allegedly attacked and chopped a woman, resulting in a report to the police. During the law enforcement response, it is reported that one officer was disarmed of his service pistol, by Mr. Worren. Other members of the team reacted by discharging their weapons at Mr. Worren. During this incident, another person was shot and injured. All injured persons were taken to the hospital for treatment.
Enquiries continue to further understand the full circumstances surrounding each incident. INDECOM urges all persons who witnessed the fatal shooting incidents to assist in the investigative process, by contacting the Commission’s Office with known information or by sending any photos and videos to INDECOM’s official WhatsApp at (876)553-5555.