Fisherman allegedly shoots captain with speargun

August 19, 2022

A 32-year-old fisherman, who is accused of using a speargun to shoot the captain of a fishing vessel on which he was employed in the chest, was yesterday offered bail in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

When Richard Johnson made his first appearance in court, facing charges of unlawful wounding, Presiding Parish Judge Luciana Jackson offered him bail in the sum of $350,000 with at least two sureties. The conditions of his bail are that Johnson is to reside in Westmoreland and to report to the police twice weekly. He was made the subject of a fingerprint order, is to surrender his travel documents and a stop order was imposed. He is to return to court on November 16.

The charge arose from an incident on August 5 about 10 a.m., when the complainant along with 31 other crew members were aboard his vessel on the Pedro Banks and an argument developed between himself and Johnson. It is alleged that the argument started after other crew members accused Johnson of searching their personal items and buckets for ganja and cigarettes. The complainant questioned Johnson about the reports after which he became boisterous and threatened to kill him. Johnson is alleged to have then pulled a ratchet knife and attacked the complainant. A tussle ensued as the complainant also had a knife.

Further reports are that Johnson left the wheelhouse, armed himself with a speargun and threatened to kill the complainant. There was a struggle between the men, however, crew members intervened and disarmed Johnson of the weapon. However, about 4 p.m., Johnson pushed his body half-way through the window of the wheelhouse, pointed the speargun at the complainant and shot him in the chest. The injured man was transported to the Middle Pedro Bank from where he was airlifted by the Jamaica Defence Force to receive medical attention.

He was admitted in serious but stable condition.

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