By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
THERE is evidence that a 20-year-old man fired a gun the night police officers said he shot at them, causing them to return fire and kill him in the Mason’s Addition area four years ago, a jury heard yesterday.
Charles Bain, an expert firearms examiner employed with the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), read a report to jurors indicating that residue from a discharged firearm was found on D’Angelo Bodie Wallace’s hands.
That revelation came before Constable 2823 Jamaal Rolle testified how Wallace, dressed all in black, fired a single shot at his and his partner’s direction from just feet away while running away from them in the early morning hours of May 16, 2015.
P/C Rolle further said his partner, Assistant Superintendent Alexander Pierre, was so close to Wallace that because of how his partner threw his hands up and because of the look on his face, he thought he had been shot.
And because of Wallace’s actions, and being in fear for both his and ASP Pierre’s life, P/C Rolle said he ended firing two shots at Wallace, ultimately leading to the 20-year-old’s death. And, the officer said if he had the opportunity he would not have done anything differently given the circumstances.
That revelation came after Mr Bain said the four police officers involved in the incident in 2015 were severely “disadvantaged” by trying to bring order to a shootout involving a high-powered weapon by using their service pistols.
Mr Bain said while police issued firearms shoot at about 1,500 feet per second, one of the guns used during the incident, a Romarm 7.62 self-loading rifle, which is commonly referred to as an imitation AK-47 assault rifle, shoots at 2,800 feet per second.
The only difference between the AK-47 and the rifle used that night, Mr Bain said, is that the AK-47 has the ability to switch between automatic and semi-automatic mode, while the weapon used that night is only semi-automatic.
However, he said both can inflict the same amount of damage.
“If you live in a clap board house, this will go in and out,” he said of the gun’s bullets. “Depends on the thickness. Sheetrock, durock, it’s a waste of time.”
P/C Rolle further said that very same gun sounded like “violent thunder and lightning” as its bullets were being fired in rapid succession on the morning in question.
He said in the early morning hours of May 16, 2015, he and ASP Pierre were on duty at the junction of East Street and Wulff Road when they received certain information from police control room about shots being fired in the Mason’s Addition area.
P/C Rolle said when he and ASP Pierre arrived at the location in question sometime around 3:30am, he observed a group of males, some donned in black shorts, shirts and/or hoodies, while one of them wore a white t-shirt and a blue jeans. The latter was armed with the high-powered weapon.
P/C Rolle said upon their arrival, the males fled the area, prompting him and ASP Pierre to give chase. He said the male with the rifle ran east into a nearby yard, while the rest headed west towards East Street behind a house and some bushes.
After managing to apprehend and arrest a suspect, he said he heard a barrage of gunshots coming from the direction of East Street to the west. He said the gunshots were quick in succession and very loud.
Then, P/C Rolle said while the suspect they had apprehended was still at his side, one of the males dressed in black from earlier, who was armed with a weapon, ran from a house and to the east away from East Street.
P/C Rolle said he ordered the male to drop the gun, and expected him to do so. However, he said the male refused, turned and fire a single shot in their direction. P/C Rolle said ASP Pierre, who was closest to the shooter, threw his hands up and given the look on his partner’s face, led him to believe he had been hit.
However, P/C Rolle said he was able to harken to his training days and fired two shots in the shooter’s direction. He also said ASP Pierre also had the opportunity to discharge his weapon after the first shot was fired. Nonetheless, P/C Rolle said the shooter continued running in an easterly direction.
P/C Rolle said a short time later, other officers arrived on the scene. He said they went in the direction the shooter ran, and ultimately found him lifeless with a .40 Glock Smith & Wesson auto-loading pistol lying near his body.
The matter continues today before Her Majesty’s Coroner Jeanine Weech-Gomez.