The Police Department and residents of Gales Point village, remain in shock and dismay after the resident police officer stationed in the village apparently killed himself last night. At around 6:45 p.m., police discovered the body of P.C. # 956 Jose Pam in the kitchen area of the living quarters of the police sub-station. He had a gunshot wound to the right side of his head. His service .38 revolver with (5) live rounds and (1) expended shell in the cylinder was lying beside him.
Pam’s wife reported to police that he left home – which is upstairs of the village station - at about 11:00 am and went in to the Village. He returned at about 5:00 pm under the influence of alcohol, where he expressed his frustration about his job, and laid down on the floor.
The wife said that she then went into the bathroom to bathe their 2 year-old son and about ten minutes later she heard the sound of a gunshot. She quickly responded and found Jose Pam lying on the ground in a pool of blood.
It is a tragic event which suddenly claimed the life of a valued member of the village, and today 7News spoke with the first responders about what they discovered when the wife alerted them:
Catherine Dawson - Chairperson, Gales Point Manatee Village
"Well I just heard the news that the police shot himself. When I arrived at the station I saw his wife and I asked her if it was true that the police shot himself and she said yes. She said he shot himself in the head then I saw the police on the floor in the kitchen"
"We understand that he shot himself with his own service weapon, is that true?"
"Yes he shot himself with his own gun. I asked his wife what happened; why did he shoot himself? His wife said he came from out of the village stressed out so I asked her what is he stressed out about and she said she didn't know and she was crying. She kept crying so I didn't understand what was the problem."
Kevin Andrewin - Resident, Gales Point Manatee Village
"That was quite shocking to the entire community; it is the first time something like that ever occurred in the community. Everyone was just shocked and we know this officer. The last thing he told us was 'I want to spend as much time as I can in the community because I can raise funds in here because the Chair lady and I provide good water service; he said that things are pretty cheap here. We expected to have him around longer; we never expected this to take place and when I got the news that the officer shot himself at the police station. I couldn't believe it so I had to come and see it for myself but when we returned to the station he was still breathing. He did anything to assist in the community, in conservation or go out in the field, he was always there. Also, he volunteered a lot of the time to go down to the school and look after the children. Sometimes I would meet him out in the village hitch hiking and sometimes we would stop and talk; we would take two beers and talk. So he is an officer that is active but as I said I don't know what really happened for him to put the ‘38 revolver to his head and shoot himself. I saw him when I was going down to my house when he was coming from Osmond Welch because normally he would go into the village inquire if it is cashew season, and he would say he wants a cashew wine or berry wine just to take a taste and cool out"
According to Andrewin, Pam was struggling for life for a little more than an hour and a half, and they were unable to try to rush him out to get medical attention. The Chairperson told us that this highlights the important issue that they have no mechanism to transport injured members of the village out in emergencies.