By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A 22-year-old shot and killed by police in the Nassau Village community two years ago was not the person they were seeking to apprehend, according to police testimony on Friday.
Detective Sergeant Dwayne Delancy said officers were actually seeking to arrest wanted suspect Nathaniel Miller at the time they fatally shot Osworth Rolle Jr on November 30, 2016.
Det Sgt Delancy said both Rolle and Miller pointed guns at three officers as they confronted the two men and several others in a yard on Lee Street, which prompted officers to open fire.
However, a test of the firearm alleged to be the one Rolle pointed at officers yielded negative fingerprint results, while Miller’s alleged firearm was never recovered.
Taking the witness stand before Her Majesty’s Coroner Jeanine Weech-Gomez, Det. Sgt. Delancy said while on duty at the Central Detective Unit (CDU) on December 2, 2016, he was given instructions to continue an investigation into a police-involved shooting that occurred just days before in Nassau Village.
Det. Sgt. Delancy said he met with officers Sergeant Ferguson and detective constables Brown and Storr, who were involved in the shooting. During those conversations, he said, the three officers gave similar accounts about what had happened.
Det. Sgt. Delancy said the officers told him that shortly after 12pm on November 30, they went to house No. 8, on Lee Street, Nassau Village after receiving information that Miller was at that location. At the time, Miller was wanted for the attempted murders of three people.
Upon arriving at the residence and heading to the rear, it was further claimed the three officers announced themselves to a group of men gathered in that area. After doing so, the group of men ran in a northern direction towards some bushes.
Det. Sgt. Delancy said he was told that two of the men, one being Miller and the other being Rolle, produced “chrome coloured” handguns and pointed them in the direction of the police.
Det. Sgt. Delancy said Sgt. Ferguson claimed that upon seeing the weapons brandished by Rolle and Miller, he stopped his pursuit of the men. However, both Brown and Storr drew their service pistols and fired in the direction of the two gunmen.
Rolle was consequently shot multiple times about the body and fell to the ground. An autopsy report prepared by Forensic Pathologist Dr Caryn Sands said Rolle died from three bullet wounds—two to either side of his face and the other to the chest. Dr Sands said each of the injuries were potentially fatal.
Meanwhile, Det. Sgt. Delancy said he was told Miller and the other men ran into the northern bushes. However, he said he was informed that Miller and the other men, namely a juvenile and two men named, Quinton Rolle and Raymond Albury, were pursued to the bushes by a team of other officers and later arrested.
Det. Sgt. Delancy said when he interviewed Miller, the “prolific offender” said he was at his home raking up leaves when the police arrived. After he heard gunshots, he said he ran into some bushes. He claimed he never saw the deceased with a gun, nor did he see when he was shot.
Conversely, Det. Sgt. Delancy said the juvenile, when interviewed with his mother present, said he ran after the police fired the shots. And while running, he said he saw Rolle, who was known to him, reach into his waist and pull out a chrome-coloured handgun.
However, the juvenile said he continued running and did not see when Rolle got shot because he was ahead of him.
Meanwhile, Quinton Rolle claimed that when the police arrived, one of them ordered him to get on the ground, to which he complied. He said the other men who were with him, including the deceased, ran.
Quinton Rolle said one of the officers stayed with him while he was on the ground. He said he later heard what sounded like two gunshots, before he heard one of the officers shout “he point a gun at me!”
However, Quinton Rolle said he did not witness the shooting because he was face down on the ground.
Det. Sgt. Delancy said Albury, when interviewed, claimed he ran when the police arrived because he was in possession of marijuana. Albury also said he did not see when Rolle got shot.
Detective Sergeant Mario Darrell, a crime scene investigator, said when he arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting, he was led to the rear portion of the residence near a bushy area where he observed Rolle’s lifeless body lying on the western side of an unfinished building with gunshot wounds to the head and upper body, a black tam hanging on a tree, and a white cellphone.
On the left side of the deceased was a black and silver pistol.
Det. Sgt. Darell said after making his observations, and after another officer took photos of the entire area, he collected and secured the firearm. After doing so, he said he discovered that the gun was a Millenium G2 9mm pistol, with 12 unfired 9mm bullets in the magazine, and one unfired 9mm bullet in the chamber.
Det. Sgt. Darell said he took the firearm back to the Criminal Records Office and processed it for latent prints, a process that yielded negative results. However, he explained that it would be almost impossible to have left fingerprints from the lower portion of the gun, which, he said, was made of a coarse, hard, plastic material, and not smooth.
The case continues.
Romona Farquharson-Seymour represents the family of the deceased, while Bjorn Ferguson represents the three officers involved.