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Tearful mother unable to complete testimony

By PAVEL BAILEY

Tribune Staff Reporter

pbailey@tribunemedia.net

THE mother of 17-year-old Elron Johnson broke down in tears and could not complete her testimony in the Coroner’s Court yesterday as the inquest into the teen’s police-involved killing after trying to rob the Double Dragon Restaurant on East Bay Street last year continued.

An off-duty officer shot and killed Johnson as he fled the restaurant on June 15, 2023.

Belinda Johnson was excused from the witness stand after becoming emotionally distraught.

Inspector Kristoff Greenslade of the police armoury testified that Inspector Lavaro Moxey, the subject of the inquest, passed his police firearm certification exams.

He said police officers are trained to shoot an armed threat to themselves and the public until that threat is eliminated.

He said officers are trained to hit targets at centre mass, not aim for their extremities.

When shown footage of Johnson crawling on the ground near an abandoned building in an apartment complex, Inspector Greenslade said the threat had not been eliminated because Johnson was still holding a firearm in his right hand.

He noted that footage from earlier that night showed Johnson firing in the direction of an officer.

Johnson eventually stopped shooting, saying: “Don’t shoot, I give up.” However, Inspector Greenslade suggested this could have been a ruse to lure the officer into a trap since the teen still had the gun in his hand.

After watching an injured Johnson drag himself on the ground, the officer commented that the young man had a “fighting spirit”.

He maintained that Johnson posed a threat to the officer while on the ground because he never put the gun away. He said Johnson had enough time to discard the weapon if he intended to surrender.

He called the situation “terrifying”. When court marshall Angelo Whitfield asked if he would have handled things differently, he said he would have discharged more rounds.

In response to a question from a juror, he clarified that for a suspect to surrender, they must discard their weapon.

Sergeant Jonnel Nixon-Adderley of the firearm registry said the deceased was not registered to have a firearm.

She also told Mr Whitfield that the minimum age to legally acquire a firearm in The Bahamas is 18.

During cross-examination from K Melvin Munroe, Inspector Moxey’s attorney, Sgt Adderley confirmed that the deceased had an unlicensed firearm.

Meanwhile, Police Constable Geronimo Parker testified that he went to the scene in response to calls of an armed robbery.

He said he found Johnson lying on the ground in a black hoodie and a grey mask and saw a black pistol and spent bullet casings in the vicinity.

PC Parker said after identifying himself as an officer, the deceased told him: “I won’t shoot anymore. I give up.”

PC Parker’s partner that night, Sergeant Felicia Patton, told acting Coroner Kara Turnquest-Deveaux that she saw EMS cut Johnson’s shirt to find his wounds.

She said the EMS personnel told her they had to quickly take Johnson to the hospital.

Comments

Fitmiss 2 months, 1 week ago

We sympathize with the parent, but can you imagine owning a business and some thug pulls up on you with a gun? Those persons will need therapy for that trauma for years, because of fearing for their lives. When police officers are trained, does it involve someone trying to shoot at them with live rounds? No amount of training can compare to a real-life situation. I have a son and we are doing our best to raise him to follow the laws of God and man. I hope this is a wakeup call to other criminals. I also feel sorry for police officers who are forced to take a life. I pray as a business owner and parent, that I never have to come face to face with such an experience nor raise a son who does this. All we can do is try to bring children up in a loving two parent home and train them properly, yes some will stray, but it will not be as bad as it is today.

John 2 months, 1 week ago

Is this the wrong headline or the wrong story because there’s definitely ba mismatch. Nothing about the ‘mother’s tearful testimony.’ But the question will be raised ‘ is an off duty police officer ever off duty?’ To say was the off duty officer acting as a police officer or a private citizen when he chased the teen robber into adjoining property and shot him dead. Because as an officer he has a right to do this. But as an ordinary citizen he only has the right to defend himself and if the culprit is seen to be fleeing and no longer a threat.. the questions arise. But as an officer he has the right to persue a criminal ( suspect) and to disarm him and to apprehend and dtetain him. And that’s why commenting on these matters are not supposed to happen until the trial is completed

bahamianson 2 months, 1 week ago

I think the teen was shooting back as he tried to escape.

bahamianson 2 months, 1 week ago

What was the mother doing all his life? Child is 17 years old. Was she not watching over the kid? How are you having a.debate with a 17 year old? These women need to watch over their responsibilities. This is unacceptable. If we were in America , she would be facing charges for her deliquent son.

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