By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A former police reservist yesterday testified how a 33-year-old shop breaking suspect was shot and killed after allegedly stabbing his former partner in the arm almost a decade ago.
Quincy Strachan, now employed with the General Post Office, said his former partner, Reserve Constable Shawn Butler was injured after allegedly clashing with Bradford “Mad Brad” Brown on May 28, 2010.
This, Mr Strachan said, was evidenced by him hearing Mr Butler issue the command “police, stop”, the subsequent sound of gunshots, and him later encountering Brown’s dead body on the ground with a knife in his hand.
According to Mr Strachan, sometime in the early morning hours of the date in question, he, Mr Butler and another officer received information of a shop breaking in progress at The Soup Cafe on Alexander Street.
Mr Strachan said when he and his former partners responded to the call, he said a woman who lived in the area pointed out where the suspect ran.
That woman, based on the evidence, was Melissa Pearson, who lived on Alexander Street at the time. She had phoned police after noticing a male just at the side of her stairs while peeking through her window.
She said when the male looked up, she backed up from the window and called a friend who called the police. Meanwhile, she said the male left the stairs of her apartment and went across the road under another set of stairs.
When the police arrived shortly afterwards, she pointed out where the individual was.
Mr Strachan said after arriving in the area, he made his way onto Rosetta Street and headed west. He said when he got near the John’s Uniform Department, he said he saw someone. Mr Strachan said when he said “police, stop” to the person, the person fled.
Mr Strachan said the person ran east on Rosetta Street, and he gave chase. He said shortly thereafter, he heard Mr Butler say “police, stop”, then gunshots. Mr Strachan said he ultimately ended up in the rear of a complex.
Mr Strachan said when he went into an alley nearby, he noticed a dead male lying on the floor with a knife in his hand.
Mr Strachan said he also heard Mr Butler say he was injured, and said his former partner was clutching his arm. He said police control room was subsequently contacted and informed of the situation.
Mr Strachan said an ambulance ultimately arrived on scene, and took Mr Butler away.
Meanwhile, Brown’s mother Ruth Hanna testified how she didn’t even know her son was dead until four days later.
She said she was only made aware of his death by two police officers on June 1, 2010 who came to her house and asked if she had a birth certificate and identification for her son.
Ms Hanna said she replied by saying: “What happen, he dead ay?” She said she did so because she had a “gut feeling” that’s what it was about, and that she found it interesting that they would ask for those documents.
However, she said the officers merely instructed her to go to the morgue to identify her son’s body.
Ms Hanna said the last time she saw her son was about a week prior, and that he was calm.
She added that her son would “come and go” from her house, and would often stay by relatives for days at a time.
Nonetheless, she said she felt “really bad” that she had to find out about her son’s death four days after the fact.
Robin Lynes represents the family of the deceased.
The matter continues.