Crime — 04 April 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

Police say that they returned fire at persons in a maroon van that they were chasing at high speed at about 1:30 Friday afternoon in the Mahogany Street area of Lake Independence, after a reported shooting on East Collet Canal.

Joshua Lewis, a taxi driver of Amara Avenue, told police that about 1:15 p.m., when he was driving on East Collet Canal, the van drove up beside his vehicle and someone fired at him: the bullet hit him in his arm, and went into his ribcage. The van then drove away at high speed.

Lewis was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where doctors treated him.

Police who were in the area responded to the shooting and tried to stop the van from escaping, but it sped off at high speed.

Police set up a road block on Mahogany Street, but the van evaded the road block and drove in the direction of the Charles B. Hyde Administration Building, colloquially known as Complex Building, where police who were on the lookout for it fired at it in an attempt to make it stop, but the van was travelling too fast.

The occupants of the van engaged the police in a shootout in the La Croix Boulevard area, when police again attempted to halt it, and citizens in the area scrambled for cover.

A witness told Amandala that he was in the Complex Building yard on Mahogany Street when the van drove up from a side street off Police Street into Mahogany Street and someone from within the van fired at a man who was walking on Mahogany Street into Administration Drive.

At the same time, police who were traveling on Administration Drive towards Mahogany Street responded to the gunfire from the van and opened fire at it, and began to chase the van at high speed.

Shortly after, witnesses heard shots being fired on La Croix Boulevard.

The van would later emerge on Partridge Street, with three police vehicles behind it. The van then drove onto Santa Barbara Street, where the driver parked in a yard, jumped out of the vehicle and ran, but the police quickly ran after him and caught him. The man was identified as Marquin Drury, 23, of Santa Barbara Street.

Police have not yet found the gun used in the shooting.

After Drury was arrested, the van was impounded. It was seen with about five bullet holes in the exterior and its windshield was also damaged by bullet.

Brian Neal, attorney for Marquin Drury, said that he (Drury) was grazed by a bullet under his left eye, and there were additional grazes on the arm and knees. Drury was taken to the KHMH, where he was treated for the injuries and released into police custody.

For his part, Corporal Jorje Lemus, the Police Admin Officer of Precinct 2, told the media that they had received information of shots being fired at the entrance of the Lord Ridge Cemetery. Police confirmed that information and processed the scene, recovering four 9mm expended shells.

Shortly after, they received a report of shots being fired in the La Croix Boulevard area. Police who responded saw a maroon Astro van being driven at a high speed.

A barricade was set up on Mahogany Street, but the van eluded police, and Lemus said that in eluding the barricade, the van almost knocked down people who were walking on the street.

At high speed, the van drove towards Police Street, where one of the occupants got out, but he was captured by the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU).

Police said that they are sure that the same van was involved in the multiple shooting incidents.

Drury was charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. He was remanded into custody until May 29 after he was taken to court yesterday, Tuesday. Meanwhile, the person captured on Police Street was detained and later released, but police did not reveal his identity.

Police said that it was Drury who shot Joshua Lewis. Lewis’ injury was classified as grievous harm.

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