NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Police shot and killed a 75-year-old man after he allegedly pointed a gun at an officer at the Fox Hill Police Station.
Police have not released an official identification; however, family members have confirmed the deceased man is Cedric Thompson.
Relatives at the scene also claimed Thompson was visually impaired.
Thompson was reporting to the station as part of his bail conditions for a grievous harm matter, according to police.
Chief Superintendent Solomon Cash said after Thompson was shot “multiple times”, he was found with two pistols.
The account of the incident has been recalled solely by the two officers involved.
Cash noted that all of the country’s police stations are not equipped with cameras, adding he could not confirm whether the Fox Hill police station has CCTV.
According to reports, Thompson went to the station for his court mandated sign in sometime before 7am this morning.
The officer on duty asked Thompson to present his ID and after the officer looked down to examine it, he looked up to find a pistol pointed in his face, Cash said.
He said the officer being “fearful” ran from the police station, with a female officer who was with him, and hid behind the station.
Cash said Thompson reportedly followed the officers and appeared to be in search of them when the officers discharged their weapons at the man, who fired back.
He said the suspect then ran west along Ferguson street and the officers pursued him.
At this point, the chief superintendent said the officers engaged Thompson and there was an exchange of gunfire, resulting in the elderly man being shot.
Cash would not disclose how many times the suspect was shot, but he confirmed that, “it was multiple” times.
Her Majesty’s Coroner was on the scene and will be investigating the matter further.
Asked about the motive of the suspect, Cash said: “We don’t know the intent of the suspect, in many cases until we have an opportunity to speak with them.
“So in this case we may never know why it happened based on the circumstances.”
He was also asked to clarify whether it was protocol for officers to flee.
“Yes. You protect your life as much as possible,” he said.
“Even though officers may be armed, if a gun is pointed at you before you have an opportunity, there’s likelihood of being killed as well.
“So the officers did the right thing and ran, in that case, until he was able to prepare better to engage a suspect.”
The incident took place during the morning hours where residents and students are commuting to work and school.
Cash could not say if people were endangered when incident took place.
He said police will be going door-to-door to conduct inquires.
In a warning to would-be offenders, Cash said: “We are mandated to protect and serve and it is our constitutional rights…to protect our lives first and then we will protect the citizens of The Bahamas.
“So I would say to persons out there who would thinking about engaging police that they should cease. It’s not a good thing to do.
“You are putting yourself in danger because we are trained with weapons and I want them to understand if you produce or pull a weapon on us we will use our weapons to protect our lives. That’s the way it is.”
Cash said while both officers are traumatized, they were not injured in any way.