The Independent Commission of Investigations wishes to inform the general public that the investigation into the fatal shooting of Vanessa Kirkland has been completed and the file submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution for a ruling. The file was submitted on Friday, February 15, 2013. The investigation which commenced on March 20, 2012 was formally completed on February 6, 2013.
The investigation was conducted by investigators of the Commission’s Alpha Team (Jurisdiction:
Kingston, St. Andrew, St Thomas) led by Director of Complaints, Mr. Nigel Morgan and included scene processing by the Commission’s Forensic Examiners, ballistic comparison by the JCF Forensic Laboratory and scene reconstruction by the Commission’s certified ballistic and reconstruction expert.
A significant factor for the delay in completing this investigation was the 10 month wait for the final ballistics certificate from the Government Forensic Laboratory; in addition to the fact that in a September 2012 re-examination of the vehicle involved in the incident, an additional projectile was found that had to be submitted for analysis. There was also difficulty in conducting interviews with some of the civilian witnesses.
The terms of reference under which this investigation was conducted was to determine whether or not the deceased’s right to life was breached; whether any policies of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) was breached and to determine whether or not any of the concerned officers are culpable in the killing of Ms. Kirkland and the wounding of six other civilians.
The police reported that on March 20, 2012, at approximately 9:47 p.m. a motor car was pursued by a three vehicle team from the Mobile Reserve in response to reports that the vehicle had transported three (3) men from a robbery in Portmore, St. Catherine earlier that evening. They further reported that on reaching Norman Lane, Kingston 13, the motor car stopped suddenly and two men fired on the occupants of the first pursuing police vehicle and those officers returned fire and Ms. Kirkland, a teenage student of Immaculate Conception High, was fatally shot and six other occupants shot and injured. A firearm was allegedly recovered. Civilians however gave a conflicting account of the incident.