Bloody 24 hours

Bloody 24 hours

Nine people killed as gunmen run amok

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 21, 2020

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THE island's murder rate spiked on Wednesday into Thurdsay morning as nine people were fatally shot and four individuals, including a two-year-old boy, were left nursing gunshot wounds in a bloody 24 hours across the island.

Up to last Sunday the island had recorded an average of approximately three murders each day, with 167 people killed as members of the security forces worked overtime to put a lid on crime, but Wednesday's spree by criminals in St Andrew, St Catherine, Clarendon, and Kingston proved an exception.

The two-year-old, whose name is being withheld, was shot about 12:20 in the morning when a group of men invaded his family house on Wednesday in Old Harbour, St Catherine, and opened gunfire. The boy's father, 43-year-old Glenmuir Ellington, was shot multiple times and died on the spot.

Jamaica Observer sources also list a double murder on White Hall Avenue in St Andrew, a fatal shooting in Lawrence Tavern, also in St Andrew, and a murder in the Waltham Park Road area of the St Andrew South Police Division, among the nine fatalities.

On White Hall Avenue, 19-year-old shopkeeper David Johnson and 20-year-old carpenter Shamarie Anderson were killed, while 48-year-old Dean Mackeller was gunned down in Lawrence Tavern. A second man was also shot in the Lawrence Tavern incident.

In the St Andrew South Police Division, where a state of emergency is in effect, a feud between members of the Rat Bat and Stingers gangs has seen several shooting incidents in recent days, with 50-year-old Leroy Anderson believed to be the latest victim.

Anderson was killed on Oakland Crescent just after seven Wednesday evening.

The St Andrew South police had earlier been called to a scene near the intersection of Bay Farm Road and Olympic Way, where 44-year-old Tyrone “Stamma” Reid had been shot multiple times. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Two other police divisions in which states of emergency are in effect, Clarendon and St Catherine North, also recorded killings on Wednesday.

In the St Catherine North Police Division a 31-year-old vendor, Omar Anderson, was fatally shot on King Street in Linstead, while 52-year-old Ivan Lewis, otherwise called “Tony”, was murdered in Mahoe Hill, Clarendon about 2:50 Wednesday afternoon.

The killings continued on Eve Lane, central Kingston, where a man, who has not yet been identified, was shot dead, while another man was left nursing gunshot wounds.

Observer sources also reported shooting incidents on Race Course Lane in Brown's Hall, St Catherine, and Denham Town, west Kingston on Wednesday, which left at least two people injured.

Unofficial figures show 181 people murdered across the island so far this year, a more than 10 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year.

Office police data last Sunday showed year-over-year increase in murders in nine of the 19 police divisions, with the St Andrew North Police Division, where 18 people have been killed, performing the worst when compared to the same time last year.

Gangsters in several communities in St Andrew North, including those in the Red Hills Road area, have kept the police busy so far this year with numerous shooting incidents.

In contrast, the recent hot spot of St James has recorded seven murders so far this year, a 41 per cent decline over last year. The other western parishes under states of emergency, Westmoreland (7) and Hanover (4), have recorded declines of 41 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, in the number of people killed so far this year when compared to the same period last year.


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