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Armed robbers shoot at police responding to home invasion

 page5c110~’Police will not be intimidated’~

 BETTY’S ESTATE--Armed robbers, who had broken into a home on Poinsettia Road in Betty’s Estate mid-morning Thursday, shot at police officers who had responded to the robbery.

None of the officers who were shot at were hit. A “very scared” female occupant of the home called police and told them that she and her child were alone at home and two unknown masked men, dressed in dark clothing, armed with handguns had forced themselves into her home. Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson said in a police press release that the woman and her child were hiding.

When the first police patrol arrived on the scene around 10:30am, they saw one of the suspects who was dressed completely in black, wearing a bullet proof vest, with his face covered, holding a gun in his hand, walking on the premises.

As the officers approached the suspect, he aimed and fired a shot at the police and then took off running towards the back of the building into the hills. None of the officers on the scene was hit. The officers took cover and then returned fire. However, they were not successful in hitting the suspect. When back-up arrived, an intense search of the area was done, but none of the suspects was found.

Henson said the female victim, who was obviously traumatized and her child were not physically injured. The paramedics checked both victims. The forensic department was on the scene collecting evidence. The Special Robbery Unit is investigating this case.

The Police Department sent a firm message to persons responsible for criminal activities that the police will not be intimidated by this type of action. “The police will do everything in its power to locate and apprehend those responsible,” Henson said.

“In this case, it is clear to see that the suspects were totally prepared to confront law enforcement and were the ones to initiate the gunfight. This criminal act is totally unacceptable in any society. These criminals can rest assured that the police will not stop or back down in the fight against crime. The police will continue, under all circumstances, to perform their duty, which is to provide safety and security to the community and visitors to St. Maarten,” Henson noted.

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