WARNING DISTURBING FOOTAGE
Kevin Smith, a self-proclaimed religious prophet, and 41 members of the St. James Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries were arrested last week after the deaths of two people who attended what was later described as a “Roman Catholic sacrifice.” Smith, accused of running a cult, was detained during a service in Montego Bay.
Jamaican authorities confirmed on Monday that Smith, set to be formally charged for his alleged role in the murders of at least two congregation members, was killed earlier that day in a car crash while officers transported him from a Montego Bay facility to a court in Kingston.
Bystander footage uploaded to social media showed a number of onlookers watching as emergency responders attempted to rescue those trapped in the car.
They took the two at the front out but the one at the back n Kevin Smith had to be cut out. pic.twitter.com/pAnRanbMF5
— KFC&ColdPepsi (@Tae_Punktress) October 25, 2021
It was ultimately confirmed that Smith and Constable Oshane Irons, of the Montego Bay Fugitive Apprehension Team, both died from injuries sustained in the crash. Two other officers were pulled from the vehicle and transported to a nearby medical facility.
“They were taking him to Kingston to be formally charged; there was an accident and all four people in the vehicle received serious injuries,” Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, head of the force’s communication unit, told the Daily Beast on Monday. “Two died, a police constable and Mr. Smith and the other two police officers are in critical condition.”
As of this article’s publication, the two surviving officers remain in the hospital.
Earlier this month, Jamaican authorities swooped down on Smith’s church, where they found him and dozens of members from his congregation donning white robes.
It had been said that church attendees had been instructed by Smith – a self-proclaimed “Prophet to the Nations” – to wrap their phones in aluminum foil and leave them at home for the service. Members of the congregation also fasted in the days leading up to the white robe event.
Local reports detailed that police stormed church grounds after it was reported that office worker Tanecka Gardner, 39, and another individual had been killed. Gardner was reported to have died after her neck was slashed.
“Even recently, she has been stocking up on kerosene oil and cooking oil. She told me that the pastor said that they must buy brown rice because something is going to happen,” an unnamed woman told the Jamaica Observer West last week, speaking of Gardner in her final days.