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Independent probe into fatal shooting of prison escapee

Santo Hernandez

An independent law enforcement agency will be investigating the death of accused murderer and prison escapee Santo Hernandez, who local police shot in the Butu Mountain area of Tortola yesterday.

A media release from the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) this afternoon said the decision was made to employ independent investigators after consultation with Governor Augustus Jaspert, who is responsible for the RVIPF.

The Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force has agreed to undertake the investigations and officers from that force will arrive in the territory tomorrow (8 December), the RVIPF said.

“This is an opportunity to offer the transparency needed for evaluating officers’ actions in this incident. We must be prepared to review our actions and allow others to do the same. This is a critical component to the service we provide to the public,” said Acting Police Commissioner Alwin James.

Hernandez was shot during a police operation.

Meanwhile, Hernandez, who is a native of the Dominican Republic, was one of three inmates that were still at large following a massive prison break after Hurricane Irma in September.

He was charged with the murder of Alston Penn, whose lifeless body was found in a pool of blood on the Windy Hill road in March this year.

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