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Police and civilians at the scene in Rillan Hill on Thursday, April 13, 2023, where police shot and injured Dwayne Moses, a mentally ill villager.
Police and civilians at the scene in Rillan Hill on Thursday, April 13, 2023, where police shot and injured Dwayne Moses, a mentally ill villager.

The Rillan Hill resident whose vehicle a fellow villager damaged shortly before being shot by police last Thursday says many of the people commenting on the incident did not witness it. 

Jonathan Abraham, 67, told iWitness News that he had to seek refuge in a nearby shop after Dwayne Moses, 26, who police later shot and injured, broke two windows on his vehicle and charged at him while holding two stones.

Abraham, a retiree, preacher and former pastor, told iWitness News that while he regrets that Moses was injured, he is of the view that the police had no other option.

He told iWitness News that around 11:24 a.m. on Thursday, he was driving his vehicle, a maroon Suzuki Escudo, from Pembroke to his home in Rillan Hill.

Abraham said he made a brief stop at a roadside business place in  the South Leeward village, adding that the road ahead and behind him was clear as he drove off.

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The preacher said that he had driven only a few hundred feet when he heard the sound of shattering glass.

Abraham said that when he exited the vehicle, he noticed that the glass panel behind the left rear passenger seat as well as the rear windshield were shattered.

He then saw Moses aka Chicken Back, bend down, pick up a stone and head toward him.

The retiree said he went around the vehicle, using it as a shield to thwart Moses’ attack and escaped into another shop that was located nearby.

Abraham said that Moses stopped and went back to where he had seen him after he first exited the vehicle.

Abraham said he used the phone of someone inside the shop to call the Questelles Police Station and the officer who answered said that they had received a report about Moses pelting stones at passing vehicles and were about to respond.

“In less than five minutes the police were there,” Abraham told iWitness News.

“He (Moses) was on the right side of the road standing. The police stopped, came out. Before the officer moved toward him, the officer spent about a minute outside the vehicle. I don’t know if the officer said anything,” Abraham said, adding that he observed the interaction between the police and Moses from about 20 feet away.

“Dwayne was standing in one place, not moving with two stones in his hands,” Abraham said, adding that a police officer who had one of his hands behind his back, started to walk toward Moses.

Abraham said the officer had what appeared to be a firearm in the hand he had behind his back.

The preacher said that because of how the officer was holding his hand as he approached Moses, he did not think that Moses could have seen what the officer had in the hand behind his back.

He said that when the officer got to a distance where he could almost grab Moses, “he (Moses) moved from that straight position and went into a charge position.

“That is when he (the officer) shot him,” Abraham told iWitness News.

Damaged vehicle
A montage image showing the damage that Abraham said Moses did to his vehicle in Rillan Hill on Thursday, April 13, 2023.

He said it is his assessment that if the officer had not shot Moses, he would have charged at the officer with the stones.

“A lot of people are saying this and that and they were not there,” Abraham said.

He said that after the officer shot Moses, the injured man turned as if he was running away and the officer discharged the firearm again.

Abraham said that Moses then fell to the ground and people came on the scene and surrounded him to the point that the officer was going to erect police tape.

“Someone took off their clothes and tried to stop the bleeding. The officer then put him in the back of the vehicle and headed towards Buccament. I assume they took him to the polyclinic,” Abraham said.

He said the police did not transport the injured man to the polyclinic until 10-15 minutes after they shot him. 

“The state of his clothes you could not use it to stop the bleeding. It was very dirty,” Abraham said of Moses’ attire.

Police said in a statement on Thursday that officers at the Questelles Police Station responded to a report of a mentally ill man pelting stones at persons and vehicles at Rillan Hill public road.

The statement said that the officer met Moses “with stones in his hands and behaving in a very aggressive manner.

“The police attempted to restrain Mr. Moses and in the process, he was shot in his leg. He was transported to the Buccament Polyclinic for medical treatment before being transferred to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH), where he is currently a patient,” the statement said.

The statement did not mention the incident involving Abraham or the damage to his vehicle.

Moses’ mother, Herlitha Moses, confirmed to iWitness News, on Friday, that he was shot once in the left thigh and had undergone surgery.

Meanwhile, Abraham told iWitness News that he could not say how many people were in the area before the shooting but that he observed that it was very crowded after the shooting.

“I actually stopped the vehicle in the road. I didn’t even pull off. It was when the police came, they told me to park the vehicle off the road.

When I heard the shattering of the glass I panicked. You know you did not hit anything and nothing was behind you and then you just heard that,” he further said, of his reaction after Moses broke the windows of his vehicle.

Stone
A piece of concrete that Abraham retrieved from inside his vehicle after the incident in Rillan Hill on Thursday, April 13, 2023.

Abraham said that he knew that Moses had mental health issues but he had never seen him act aggressively before.

“He would come to my house and I would give him things to eat. He was never aggressive. The way he behaved was out of character,” Abraham said, adding that he later heard that Moses had pelted stones at vehicles before his.

Abraham said that some of the people on the scene had said that they were sorry that Moses had damaged his vehicle and charged at him.

He, however, said that he sat there quietly and listened as others maligned him, saying that he had acted in an unchristian manner by calling the police.

“Actually, I don’t feel good that he was shot but because of his action, the police had to do it,” Abraham told iWitness News.

Abraham said that none of Moses’ relatives had reached out to him since the incident.

He said he has formally reported the incident to the police, who took a statement and photographs of the damage to his vehicle.

Abraham further said that his insurance company has confirmed that because of the nature of his insurance policy, he is responsible for the repairs to his vehicle.

Dwyane is the second of his mother’s children to be shot by police.

In Dec. 11, 2011, police shot and killed his older brother, Godwin Moses, then 27, three weeks after he escaped from prison.

Police said that Godwin was suspected in the killing of dental technician Ewart “Ells” King, who was stabbed to death by an intruder into his Pembroke home one week before Moses was killed.

3 replies on “Mentally ill man was about to charge at officer who shot him — witness”

  1. These mental people roaming the streets of s v g must be section and taken to a mental hospital for treatment, and the police need to have more training on how to deal with mental people, stone against gun is not a good idea,

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