- Father dead, 8 y-o son critical
Barrington Flemming – Staff Reporter
The usually quite community of Comfort Hall, Anchovy in South St. James, is reeling from a four- hour hostage crisis, which has left one man dead and his eight-year-old son in critical condition in hospital.
The dead man is 56-year-old taxi operator, Donavon Thompson.
The four-hour ordeal began to unfold about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, when a police team went to the Comfort Hall area in search of Thompson, who was a suspect in a sexual offence case.
Commanding Officer for the St. James Police Division, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, said on arrival at the premises, Thompson barricaded himself in the house and held his eight-year-old son hostage, while refusing the police entry to the house.
Thompson reportedly pulled the curtains from the windows and made several attempts to set the house ablaze with the use of a lighter and two gas cylinders.
“The fire department, the paramedics, negotiators and the SWAT team from the JCF were all on the scene and they all tried to persuade him to end the hostage situation. He, however, made a request to see his wife who was in another parish. The police acceded to the request and brought the wife to the house at Comfort Hall.
Superintendent Ellis said Thompson’s wife and members of the church he attended, as well as community members, pleaded with him to release the son and give up himself up to the police but he refused.
ATTACKED HIS SON
“Instead, Thompson started to attack his eight-year-old son and used a knife to stab him several times to the upper body, during which the SWAT team from the JCF gained entry by breaching the front of the premises.
He further explained that the police tried to use less lethal options to subdue Thompson, including bean bags but:
“He continued to attack his son, stabbing him, and in a bid to save the child’s life, the police resorted to lethal option. Mr. Thompson was injured, and the paramedics who were at the scene transported him and his critically wounded son to the Cornwall Regional Hospital,” he explained.
Thompson succumbed to his injuries while his son has been admitted.
“The fire department put out the fire and washed down the house and in the interim, we have since deployed members of the Community Safety and Security Branch to Comfort Hall as many residents there are distraught, so we can assist them to cope with this ordeal,” Superintendent Ellis concluded.