Police in Jamaica are investigating the killing of a police constable in a high-crime area in the southern part of the Caribbean island.

The high command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force says Constable Michael Townsend was slain Sunday near May Pen in Clarendon parish. Police have declined to immediately provide any further details, saying that further information will be released later.

The Jamaica Observer newspaper says Townsend was killed in a gun attack, possibly as he was visiting friends or relatives.

The island of 2.7 million people had 1,087 homicides last year. Most of Jamaica's violence takes place in rough slums, with tourist resorts largely crime-free.