St. Kitts and Nevis: The Police High Command is asking the public not to rush to judgment about the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old at the hands of an off-duty police officer.
Elric Philo Wallace was shot in the chest while at Enrique’s bar Saturday morning (Oct 17) around 3:45. According to police, the Hamilton Village resident had been in an altercation with a police officer and another individual when the officer discharged his weapon, hitting teen.
Speaking at a press conference Monday afternoon (Oct 30) Acting Police Commissioner of Police, Stafford referred to the incident as “tragic”, and extended condolences to the victim’s family.
He said it is too soon in the investigation for the police to reveal much information as they are still gathering information themselves.
What the top brass did reveal was that the officer involved had sustained a head injury during the altercation and is on “sick leave”. It was confirmed that the officer was authorized to carry his firearm while off duty.
An appeal was made for persons who were at the scene and witnessed the incident to contact police with whatever information they may have.
The Violent Crime Unit and the Office of Professional Standards are investigating the matter.
“There is an investigation that has to be completed. Once those investigations are completed and recommendations are forwarded, the matter will go where it’s supposed to go,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley.
Against the backdrop of an another recent officer involved shooting of a civilian where the officer was brought up on disciplinary charges, ACP Queeley stressed that internal charges did not mean criminal charges could not be brought against an offending officer.