Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described as heart-wrenching, the story about Jamaica Defence Force soldier David ‘Speedy’ Howard, who was gunned down at Bambury in Linstead, St Catherine, shortly before 9pm on July 10.
The 30-year-old soldier was off duty at the time he was murdered during a robbery that transpired when he stopped to speak with friends. Three gunmen perpetrated the crime.
Prime Minister Holness, while announcing this afternoon that the suspects have been arrested, hailed the military man for his attempt to save the lives of the civilians with whom he was speaking when the robbers struck.
“Gunmen accosted him. He wrestled with them, managed to take away one of their firearms, but he was unfortunately shot and killed. No doubt his intervention saved the lives of his friends,” the country’s political leader told parliament a short while ago.
He continued: “It was a heart-wrenching story to be told to me, because this young man obviously took his job seriously – even being off duty he defended the lives of innocent citizens, giving up his own.”
Prime Minister Holness, in the meantime, told the House of Representatives that the soldier was cautioned about being in the area moments before the murder unfolded.
“The report I received is that there was a joint patrol that passed the way of that off duty soldier, and they even said to him ‘you have to leave this area soon because the criminals are themselves doing their patrols’.
“And so true it was. Those same criminals were committing a robbery in close proximity and observing the movements of the Jamaica Defence Force and police patrols, and as soon as they left the area they came and accosted the soldier,” the prime minister said.
He urged people to still exercise caution although the state of public emergency is underway in Linstead and other parts of the St Catherine North Police Division. One is also in effect in the parish of St James.
To read our story about the suspects arrested for the murder of the soldier, CLICK HERE.
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