UPDATE: 911 system failed victims who were under constant gunfire


By Leroy Smith

Once again the 911 emergency system is the source of contention, after there was no response to calls during an ambush and attempted robbery close to midnight on Saturday (March 18, 2017).

A businessman and his friends were attacked as they were driving in the community of Bel-Air shortly after returning from a movie theatre.

During the incident, a bandit was shot dead while one of the businessman’s friends was shot to the elbow; he is currently a patient at a city hospital.

During a visit to the community this morning (Sunday, March 19, 2017), persons said repeated calls to the 911 emergency numbers proved futile. It took the police almost thirty minutes to arrive at the location, but by then the bandits who survived the exchange of gunfire had fled the area.

One of the occupants of the vehicle told the News Room that after the movies they stopped to purchase hotdogs on Sheriff Street and then proceeded to Bel-Air, unaware that they were being trailed.

Upon stopping at the home of one of the men, the bandits exited their vehicle and approached the driver and front passenger sides of the vehicle wielding guns.

They were reportedly unaware of the presence of a third person in the vehicle, the businessman with his licensed firearm.

The bandits opened fire, and the businessman who was in the back seat of the car returned fire, instantly killing one of the bandits while the other retreated to the back of the vehicle, firing shots in the process.

During the exchange of gunfire, the vehicle used by the businessman and his friends had its two front windows shattered and suffered extensive damage to its rear. There were also impressions that bullets grazed the vehicle. Another vehicle which was parked on a resident’s bridge sustained damage, as well as a CRV which was parked at the time. The police recovered a warhead from another vehicle.

Bloodstains were also evident on the roadway where the bandit was fatally struck. The police have expedited their analysing of a cell phone found at the scene, to see what useful information can be recovered.

The police have since reviewed CCTV footage from several homes in the area where the incident took place, but those at this point are said to be of poor quality.

The police have also recovered the weapon used by the bandits and efforts are being made to trace the weapon and ascertain if it is linked to any crime scene.

The dead bandit remains unidentified.

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