By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A POLICE officer was justified in killing a teenager who was said to have robbed one man and attempted to rob another while armed with a fake gun less than an hour before his death in 2012, a jury has found.
The jury found Police Constable 1901 Anderson acted lawfully in killing 19-year-old Willis Gregory Wallace on September 2, 2012 at Mt Royal Avenue.
According to the facts of the case, Wallace was shot and killed after a confrontation with police. He died of multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and right forearm.
Police said around 3am on the date in question, officers received information that a man was being robbed in the Clifton Street area by two men. It was also reported that suspects left the area heading near Columbus Primary School on Collins Avenue. As a result, officers were dispatched to investigate.
A short time later the crew of Echo 10, consisting of P/C Anderson and Corporal 100 Collie, responded to the call. Upon their arrival at Columbus Primary, they saw two men standing over another man who was lying on the ground. One of the men, who was standing, had a handgun pointing it at the head of the man who was on the ground. The officers also saw one of the men grab the man from the ground and start walking east on Hampton Street and west towards Mt Royal Avenue.
P/C Anderson and Cpl Collie followed the trio. As they entered the Mt Royal Avenue area the policemen saw one of the men go to a house on Mt Royal Avenue and Hampton Street east with the man they were holding at gunpoint. The other man stood in the street near a web shop on Hampton Street west.
The two officers subsequently approached the men, and the suspect who was standing in the street ran north on Mt Royal Avenue with Cpl Collie giving chase.
The two officers subsequently approached the men, and the suspect who went to the house with the man who was held at gunpoint ran north on Mt Royal Avenue with Cpl Collie giving chase.
P/C Anderson also chased the suspect and came face-to-face with the man with the gun.
He fired one shot in the man’s direction and ordered him to drop his weapon. However, the man refused and P/C Anderson fired several more shots in his direction. The man subsequently fell to the ground still clutching his weapon and raised it. P/C Anderson in turn fired his gun once more, after which the male dropped the weapon.
P/C Anderson kicked the weapon away from the man. Shortly afterwards he was joined by Cpl Collie. They subsequently contacted medical support services, who, upon arrival, examined the man and found no vital signs of life.
A team of crime scene officers, headed by Assistant Superintendent Curtis, visited the crime scene and collected an imitation pistol from the scene along with some eight 9mm fired bullets. They also collected swabs of blood from the scene.
As the officers examined the body of the deceased, they collected a silver and gold chain along with a cross-shaped charm from his front-left pocket. They did not discover any forms of identification on the man. The officers also collected P/C Anderson’s and Cpl Collie’s 9mm sig pistols.
Upon the completion of the investigation of the crime scene, police interviewed Valentino Babbs of Hampton Street, who said that at around 2.40am that day, he left home to look for a ride to take him to his girlfriend. While walking west on Hampton Street and in the area of Columbus Primary School yard, he noticed that two men started to walk in his direction. The two held him up, one producing a handgun, and demanded his money.
When Mr Babbs told them he did not have any money, the two men threatened to kill him and ordered him on the ground. The man, without the gun, told the other man to shoot Mr Babbs in the head. However, Mr Babbs told them he had some money at his house and that he could get it for them.
They all then walked east along Hampton Street to Mr Babbs’ residence. When they got in the area of the web shop, one of the men stopped while the other went with Mr Babbs across the street to his residence. When Mr Babbs opened the door, he quickly ran inside and locked it.
He immediately woke up his uncle who was asleep in the chair and told him what had happened. Shortly afterwards, Mr Babbs heard several shots fired across the street near the web shop. Mr Babbs later learned that the police had shot the man who had held him up at gunpoint.
Officers subsequently conducted investigations in the Clifton Street area, and saw and spoke with Dominique Ashe who reported that sometime around 2.20am he was walking on Clifton Street after leaving a nearby nightclub when he was accosted by two men, one of whom was armed with a black handgun. The men robbed him of his hand chain, gold and silver neck chain with a cross-shaped pendant, as well as a cell phone.
The men then left the area headed west along Clifton Street towards Columbus Primary School. Mr Ashe was later shown the chain and charm that were found on the deceased, which he identified as his.
Two days later, on September 4, Ricardo Davis of Thompson Lane was arrested and charged for the armed robbery of Mr Ashe and attempted armed robbery of Mr Babbs. Davis was also questioned about the matter and acknowledged that he accompanied Wallace at the time of his death and was able to make good his escape.