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'Police shot my son dead' claims Worcester mum
A MOTHER has vowed to get “justice” for her son after he was gunned down by police in Jamaica.
Alex and Shellean Rugg, of Tunnel Hill, Worcester, were visiting family, including her son, in Montego Bay when their world was suddenly turned upside down.
Mrs Rugg’s son, Tasane Christie, known as Dean, was shot dead by police on Thursday, October 10.
A report in the island’s Western Mirror newspaper says that police saw a man acting suspiciously near Mr Christie’s home, in the Glendevon District, at about 6am.
The report says a chase ensued and the officers came under fire before taking cover.
It then says the police returned fire and the gunman was hit and fell to the ground.
A police source told the paper that the victim, who it later emerged was 25-year-old Tasane, was found clutching a Glock 17, 9mm pistol.
However, the Rugg family have accused the police of fabricating the story about the gun and insist that there was no shootout.
The shooting is now being investigated by INDECOM (the Independent Commission of Investigations for Jamaica) and charges could be brought as soon as January.
Mr Rugg, aged 57, said his wife – a nurse at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester – had delivered two containers of food and clothes to her family and believes Mr Christie was “distracted” by the police to talk about their contents before being shot in the chest and stomach.
“The shooting happened within 18 inches of his bed,” said Mr Rugg, who is a Merchant Navy deck officer for P&O Ferries.
“I cleaned up the blood. When you look at the street it doesn’t look like you’d expect trouble there.”
Mr Rugg said he spoke with members of the community about his stepson, asking if he had been involved in crime, gangs, or any other behaviour which could lead him to be involved with the police.
“Their body language was ‘definitely not’,” he said.
The family learned of the shooting when Mr Christie’s partner, who was in the property at the time, called Mrs Rugg at about 7.20am, but they had to visit the police headquarters and a local police station before they discovered he had been killed.
Mrs Rugg, 46, who moved to Worcester 12 years ago, said: “I still can’t believe my son is dead.
"They say he was running around outside but he was in his bed sleeping. I need justice for my son.”
At the time, the couple were not sure whether Mrs Rugg’s other son, Garth Daley, 21, who had travelled to Jamaica with his mother, had also been involved in the incident.
“We assumed the worst and thought he was dead,” said Mr Rugg.
“Then we were concerned where Garth was because he should have been in the house and we were afraid they would have got him as well.”
The couple arrived at the scene to find a police cordon, manned by about 30 heavily armed officers with bullet-proof vests, M16 rifles and side arms.
Mr Rugg says they were “in shock and anger at what had happened” and while talking to the officer in charge he received an “enormous thump” on his shoulder from, he believes, another police officer.
He said he was “amazed” the blow didn’t knock him off his feet.
Then, about half an hour later, the couple heard three or four gun shots, which Mr Rugg believes was the police’s attempt to make the scene look as though there had been a shootout take place there.
It was later discovered gold jewellery, including a necklace, bracelet and ring, and three mobile phones to a value of $8,000 had been stolen from the property, something the family believe to be part of the motivation for the shooting.
As the family tried to come to terms with the incident, Mr Daley paid tribute to his “popular” and “well-loved” brother.
“The whole community loved him because of his personality,” said Mr Daley, who works for Sainsbury’s distribution centre.
“All of his friends were crying like babies. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
And he said the incident was reflective of problems faced by communities in Jamaica.
He added: “People say Jamaica is a paradise but they don’t know what is going on behind closed doors, what the public are facing.”
Now, the Rugg family wants to use the tragic incident to raise the issue of police corruption and brutality in the country, as they seek justice for Mr Christie.
“The story is repeated on almost a daily basis and every time a gun is found but they are not telling you they are robbing people,” Mr Rugg said.
He also intends to pursue a class action against the Jamaican government and police force with other affected families to achieve a “bigger impact”.
Members of the Glendevon District community have also asked Mr Rugg to write to the Queen, as head of state, to seek help and advice.
Mr Rugg said: “On the police vehicles it says, ‘we serve, we protect, we reassure’.
“But what I have experienced is ‘we rob, we murder and we terrorise’.”
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