By Alexis R. Milan
The family of Mark Phillips, the minor who was shot last Thursday, has disputed the police version of events, which indicate that Phillips was shot by a friend during an attempted murder.
Phillips, in the company of his mother, told the media that the police’s version of events was inaccurate and said that in fact, police haven’t taken a statement from him in regard to the events last Thursday night. According to Phillips’ version, he was at the Queen Square Primary School compound with a few friends who he had accompanied but none of them were armed.
Phillips said that he was on his way to a nearby shop with an adult relative, as he is required to be in the company of an adult in public at night as part of his curfew, after recently being released from prison, when some of his friends in the school compound called out to him. He and his relative both entered the compound, Phillips said, and were just taking when they heard the first of several shots fired.
According to Phillips, he realized he was shot and ran out of the school-yard where his relative helped him unto a passing cycle, which then transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).
Phillips claimed that an officer who lives around the area and who has a personal grudge against one of his friends is the one who told the police on the scene that it was he and his friends who committed the shooting. Phillips maintains that the charges against him are false. Phillips and his two other friends have been charged for aggravated assault and in the case of the alleged shooter, firing a weapon in public.
According to Phillips, he saw the true shooter and knows the identity of the man who shot him, but hasn’t been able to tell police since they haven’t taken any statement from him.
Police have also claimed that Phillips, who is well-known to them, is an associate of the George Street Gang, but Phillips said that while he has been involved in some legal troubles before, he is not a member of any gang. He did admit, however, that he has friends in the area and frequents the zone, where police have seen and stopped him before.
Last week Eastern Division South Commander Senior Superintendent Chester Williams told the media that Phillips and two other friends of his were lay-waiting someone at the compound when the gun jammed and Phillips was accidentally shot. Phillips’ aunt who was with him just before the incident corroborated his version as well as several others who were in the area.