Police at the scene of the shooting on Cowpen Road. Photos: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
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By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
POLICE shot and killed three men on Cowpen Road on Saturday, after an officer was “ambushed” by a gunman.
Police Commissioner Paul Rolle said: “There was a funeral taking place at the Spikenard cemetery when officers who were on patrol observed a white Honda Accord parked in the eastern section of the cemetery. Officers went on foot.
“As they approached the vehicle, the vehicle drove off. Officers then got back into their vehicle and left. A short while later, driving on Cowpen Road again, they saw the vehicle through a side corner. “They stopped and exited their vehicle. One of the officers approached what we believe to be the driver door, as the vehicle is heavily tinted. As he stood there attempting to speak with the driver, shots began to be discharged from the rear seat.”
Commissioner Rolle said one officer fired shots as two other officers stood guard. He said one weapon, a pistol, was recovered from inside the car.
The police-involved killing comes as people across the world protest police-involved violence against black people. Those protests were sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died in Minneapolis after an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Saturday’s shooting also comes just days after a Supreme Court justice warned that pulling the trigger should be a last resort for officers.
Justice Indra Charles made the comment as she ordered the government to pay $22,500 to a man who was shot in his back and buttocks 13 years ago. That $22,500 includes damages and legal costs.
Commissioner Rolle said Saturday’s killings were not like the case which prompted the judge’s comments.
“This was a situation where an officer is ambushed,” he said.
For more on this story, see Monday’s Tribune.