'Di man shot mi!'

'Di man shot mi!'

Senior staff reporter

Monday, February 24, 2020

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A toddler is clinging to life in the intensive care unit after gunmen yesterday acted on threats issued three weeks ago to “kill anything in sight” in her West Street community of downtown Kingston.

One-year-old Mia Dailey was left with bullet wounds to her abdomen and spine, while 43-year-old Andon Robinson was shot dead.

Mia had been seated on a chair outside her house awaiting her bottle when the incident occurred, shortly after 7:00 am.

The child's mother, Avina Jones, said the infant didn't cry when she got hit; she later kept repeating, “Di man shot mi! Di man shot mi!”

Vexed residents who converged on the crime scene airing their disgust about what transpired, told the Jamaica Observer that warring factions from Tivoli Gardens and Pink Lane, troubled areas also in the capital city, had been the cause of the tragedy.

According to them, two men on a bicycle passed by mere minutes before, returning and pumping several shots into Robinson whose death, they deemed, was a casualty of war.

The man — said to be a community handyman known for washing and parking cars — had just left a communal restroom in a neighbouring yard when he was attacked.

“The man not even know why him dead, cause him a innocent man,” a young boy who was among the group of residents uttered.

“A use him come use the bathroom because him nuh have none over him yard and the boy dem see him and spray him,” the boy continued.

Robinson, in a bid to escape, reportedly ran back into the yard, where Mia had been seated. The gunmen reportedly gave chase, shooting him twice in the back and once in the head before escaping.

Yesterday Jones was a nervous wreck when she spoke with the Observer.

“Mi daughter prime. Mi daughter know everything, everybody inna ar community. Mi daughter know ar address, she know ar mother name, she know ar brother name, she know everybody. Mi nuh know how them fi shoot mi baby. This likkle girl, she special; she special mi a tell you,” the woman shared.

Jones, who had been wailing outside the hospital gate, managed to explain that shortly before the incident, she and neighbours stood by the entrance of the yard in discussion.

She said it was minutes after the group dispersed and while she was preparing Mia's breakfast that explosions shattered the morning's stillness.

“Wi never know she get shot. She nuh bawl or nothing, so when somebody ask weh blood a do up a di top a the yard and a down a the bottom a di yard killing gwaan, mi lift up ar shirt and mi see the blood all over. Mi run out a di yard a bawl and throw her give a man and seh, 'Dream get shot!' All when wi a go hospital and the girl have her inna the back a the car she just a seh she want ar mother,” Jones recounted.

Doctors later told her that one of the bullets which had lodged in the child's spine had caused severe damage, causing the toddler to lose function in one of her legs.

“This break mi right down. Mi never expect seh something like this woulda happen inna the yard, you understand? We and the man stand up outta door and him a trouble ar and she seh she want ar bottle... By the time we go in and mi in deh a make di bokkle fi ar and she sit down pon the chair, mi hear the shot dem. So mi a seh, 'No man, a inna the yard shot a fire'. So by time mi peep out mi see the yout pon di ground, so mi shout out an' seh, 'Andon dead down a Gally doorway!' Dem time deh mi grab up mi baby and everything. So when wi start come out back a da time di girl a question how blood reach suh far, and wi check ar and see,” Jones shared.

The child was transported to hospital where doctors performed emergency surgery.

Residents earlier shared that the shooting has left them dazed.

“Bwoy them just run down the man come shoot him, and the likkle baby get shot too. A God mercy make wi move off because all a wi did out here a talk. Andon never fire a shot from him born and the bwoy dem kill him. Andon park car; him nuh know 'bout nothing weh a gwaan. All the baby up a [hospital name omitted] a seh is that, 'Di man shot mi; di man shot mi'. That's all she up deh a seh. Believe mi, this shock wi. Wi surprised, 'cause wi never know dem a come pon bicycle,” a man told the Observer.

Asked what the latter part of his statement meant, he explained that residents had been told that no one would be spared when gunmen from the neighbouring community attacked.

He said while the area had been tense, residents breathed easy at dawn.

“Threat a sen' from di other day seh dem a come shoot up over here, seh dem a kill anything in sight; but wi check seh a some drive-by or dat dem a come pon bike; wi naah expect bicycle. A more than one time dem tell wi seh it a go happen. Dem tell wi fi expect it, but wi naah look seh a early morning dem a come; a night wi a look fi it,” the man stated.

Jones, too, was of that view.

“To be frank, every night everybody go in and lock up. Nobody nuh really have them kids on the road, so maybe if it was night this wouldn't happen because everybody a protect them kids. Once people a hear threat a sen' nobody nuh know wah can happen but see it deh, a day dem come,” she said, her voice trailing off.

At press time last night, Mia had come out of surgery and was in recovery.

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