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Bicycle Patrol Shot by Parliament Building.(UPDATED)

benjaminshooting05082015Bullets remains in Officer Benjamin brain, he is currently in a comatose state at SMMC.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Members of Parliament ran for their lives on Wednesday when a bicycle patrol identified as officer Gamali Benjamin was shot in the vicinity of the Parliament Building in Philipsburg on Wednesday morning. Bystanders said some MP's tried to find cover as they beleive that the gunmen were coming after Members of Parliament. MP Sarah Wescot Williams, MP Theodore Heyliger, MP Franklin Meyers and MP Lloyd Richardson ran for cover in one of the private rooms of parliament SMN News was told. However, the MPs later learnt that officer Benjamin (aka Gambly or Benjy) of Middle Region area was shot in the head or neck  area and was in critical condition. The shooting took place in the area of Caribbean Palm which is in the alley where the House of Parliament is located.

Bystanders said that the officer was shot somewhere in the vicinity of his neck and head and that ambulance personnel tried to revive the officer who was badly injured before taking him to the St. Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. Chief Commissioner of Police Peter de Witte who was on the scene and at the St. Maarten Medical Center said that the officer that was shot while performing his duties is in critical condition and was taken directly to the operating room of the St. Maarten Medical Center for emergency surgery. Press Prosecutor Karola Van Nie also confirmed that the officer was in critical conditon and that one of the two suspects was also shot and is also at the St. Maarten Medical Center. Van Nie said the second suspect is still on the run but police have a fairly good description of the culprit they are looking for. She said that the officer who was shot while on duty marched into Oro Diamante Jewelry Store where two gunmen were busy trying to commit an armed robbery. Van Nie said both the police and prosecution will issue a joint press statement later in the day.
Several eyewitnesses said that police surrounded the area as scores of bystanders looked on, many of whom knew the officer. SMN News further learnt that the vehicle of a taxi driver was damaged with gun shots. Based on information provided to SMN News a female seemingly is involved in these robberies because a female it is alleged walked into the Oro Diamante Jewelry on Tuesday and began taking photograps. A source told SMN News that police were notified when the female took photos in the store and it was robbed one day later. The get away motor-cycle was seen on the sidewalk where the shooting took place.
SMN News learnt that the victim (police officer) is in critcial condition and doctors at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) had to conduct and emergency operation in order to save the officer's life. Further information states that doctors at SMMC are busy trying to control the bleeding as they try to remove  a bullet that is lodged in the officer's brain.  "If the bleeding is not contained then the medical condition of Officer Benjamin will further deterioate." Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, Chief Commissioner of Police Peter De Witte were among those that were at the St. Maarten Medical Center while officer Benjamin was in surgery. According to information SMN News received the bullet lodged in the officer's brain which led him to be in a comatose state. Doctors it is understood worked tirelessly to revive the officer several times. By late afternoon on Wednesday SMN News understands that the doctors could not remove the bullet that is lodged in the officers brain but they managed to contain the bleeding as they work round the clock to stablize officer Benjamin in order to fly him out of St. Maarten for further treatment.

benjamino5082015SMN News further learnt that the suspected shooter has been shot and  is under arrest but no official statement can be obtained from management of KPSM as yet since they are all busy dealing with the medical condition of the officer and the suspect who shot him. Preliminary information reaching SMN News states that Officer Benjamin walked in a jewelry store not far away from Caribbean Palm where some armed gun men was busy committing an armed robbery, some eyewitnesses said the officer fired shots at the robbers who shot back at him. Most of the day on Wednesday the entire Philipsburg was shut down by Police as they try to hunt down the other culprit. The suspect that is currently at the St. Maarten Medical Center is a native of St. Maarten while the one on the run is also believed to be a local.

Joint press release Public Prosecutors Office and KPSM ---Armed robbery / police officer shot and wounded severely


On Wednesday August 5th 2015 at approximately 01.00 p.m. A police bike patrol was informed of an ongoing armed robbery at the “Oro Diamante Jewelry Store” on Front Street. The officers immediately went to scene to investigate this report. A two-man bike patrol arrived on the scene. One officer approached the main entrance of the jewelry store and was met by one of the armed robbers who without any hesitation started firing shots at the officer in question. The officer who ran for cover was hit several times and fell severely wounded to the ground.
The other patrol officer responded by firing shots at the suspect hitting several times. This suspect tried to get on an awaiting “dirt bike” to flee the scene, but both suspects took off on foot and fled the scene leaving the motorcycle behind. The suspect was shot was arrested on the Cannegieter Street. The other suspect continued fleeing  towards the Walter Nisbet road and was not arrested.
Both the injured officer and the suspect were treated on the scene by paramedics and transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center where they were immediately operated on. The officer remains admitted in critical condition. The suspect that was shot remains admitted in the ICU for observation.
A search for the second suspect had no result and  he is still on the loose. He is considered armed and very dangerous. No one should attempt to arrest this person. Call the police department via 911. The police could really use the assistance of the public. If anyone has any information regarding this robbery, they should come forward and share this information or call #9300. The second suspect is a young dark skinned man, between 17 and 20 years old, of normal posture, wearing dark sneakers, white socks, a white t-shirt with big brown stripes, shorts, his hair is long at the back with one braid with white beads.
The investigation is ongoing and the Public Prosecutors office and the KPSM cannot give any additional information at this time. A consequent report will follow as the information becomes available.

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