Two brothers in hospital after early morning shootout

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Distraught relatives of two brothers shot by police deny officers’ claims the pair were involved in criminal activity when the shootout occurred early yesterday morning.

The incident has left a 21-year-old with little hope of recovery after being shot in the head. His younger sibling, 16, is facing losing his sight in one eye after a bullet went straight through his eye socket.

“Not them two cousin there. They not involved with any guns,” said a male relative of the victims.

Vernon “Edrick” Grant, 21, is in critical at Mount St John’s Medical Centre. His sibling is conscious, but his condition serious.

A press release from the police force’s communications department said the officers were defending themself when they shot at Grant and his brother.

The release stated that at about 1:30 am on Tuesday, the police were conducting surveillance of a white motor car believed to be involved in criminal activities.

“The vehicle at the time was parked in some bushes in the Belmont area. While there, three men approached the motor car, two entered and while the third was entering the motor car, the police approached and identified themselves and the men open fire on the police who returned fire, two of them were shot while the third escaped on foot in the bushes,” the release read.

A police source said the vehicle in question was stolen.

The police officers involved in the incident were uninjured, according to a police spokesman.

Police are appealing to anyone with information of the incident to call the Criminal Investigation Department at 462 3913/14 or 800 TIPS (8477).

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)