Independent Probe of Escapee’s Fatal Shooting Ready Soon


Commissioner of Police Michael Matthews announced that the report from the independent probe that was conducted into the 6 December shooting death of prison escapee Santo Yamarco Hernandez will be ready soon.

During a press conference on Monday, Commissioner Matthews announced that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) was informed that the report is almost ready. The Commissioner told the media that it is regrettable that some of the RVIPF’s firearms officers were involved in that shooting incident.

In commenting on the matter Mr. Matthews said: “I am still awaiting the independent report from the Commissioner of the Turks and Caicos police who I asked to oversee the investigation. It is vitally important in such serious incidents that we are transparent and that any investigation is totally independent of the force.”

Moreover, the Commissioner commented: “I fully recognize that I ask firearms officers in particular to undertake dangerous duties and my priority is to ensure they remain safe, are properly trained, equipped, effectively commanded and supported by the force.”

Hernandez, a native of the Dominican Republic, escaped from Her Majesty’s prison where he was awaiting trial for the murder of Alston Penn. He was shot on 6 December during an early morning operation that was carried out by officers of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force in the Butu Mountain area. It was announced that officers went to the area following acquisition  of intelligence.

At the area the officers executed the search of a residence. It is said that during the search Hernandez aggressively engaged the officers. It has been learned that as a result shots were discharged by Police and Hernandez was subdued, apprehended and taken to Peebles Hospital where he later died.