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There was a massive traffic pile up in Diego Martin after residents of Bagatelle blocked major roads in their community with burning debris yesterday morning after police shot and killed a 35-year-old man. Police said around 10 am about a dozen residents, carrying tyres and pieces of metal and wood, gathered along Bagatelle Road, Diego Martin, to protest the death of Nigel Long, who was shot dead by police on Tuesday night.
Police and fire officers were summoned to the scene after the residents completely blocked the roadway and ignited the debris. After repeatedly pleading with the residents to desist, the officers began extinguishing the fire and removing the debris. The residents only dispersed after police public information officer Insp Wayne Mystar arrived on the scene and spoke to them. He assured them of a independent and fair investigation into Long’s death.
According to police reports, around 11.30 pm, two police officers and two soldiers were on a joint patrol along Mahogany Trace, Bagatelle, when they reportedly spotted Long standing at the side of the road. Police claimed that upon seeing the police vehicle Long got up, reached behind his back, drew a revolver and pointed it at the officers. The officers drew their guns and shot Long several times. He was taken to the St James District Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
They reportedly recovered a loaded .38 revolver from the dead man. Long’s relatives and friends disputed the officers’ version. “He didn’t do anything to anyone,” Lima Alexander, his relative who lived near to where he was shot said in an interview with reporters at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday. Alexander said a couple hours before the shooting, Long came to her home to visit her.
“He took a shower, ate something and said he was going outside to lime,” Alexander said. She said shortly after she heard a volley of gunshots and when she went outside she saw police officers loading an unconscious Long in the back of their SUV. While waiting at the centre for a post-mortem to be performed on Long’s body, Alexander said she and other relatives were planning to make an official report to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) but were waiting until they received his autopsy report.
Although relatives were seen waiting at the centre before it had opened at 9 am, they left empty-handed after staff told them to return today because they were unable to do the procedure because of a large backlog of cases at the centre yesterday. Alexander said residents would continue their protests until they were satisfied that a “proper” police investigation was being conducted. “An innocent man get killed. We not allowing this to go down so,” Alexander said.
Meanwhile, a post-mortem on another man shot dead by police revealed that he was shot three time to the chest. Antonio Swan, 21, who was wanted in connection with the recent murder of a man in Biche, was shot dead near his Concerned Citizens Street, California, on Tuesday evening. In an telephone interview yesterday forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov, who performed the autopsy, said Swan had been shot three times in his chest.
A male relative, who was at the centre to identify Swan’s body, only described him as a “stubborn child” who kept bad company.