Trelawny bleeds

Four murders in less than a week shakes up Usain Bolt's parish of birth

BY MARK CUMMINGS
Editor-at-Large
cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 21, 2017

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CLARK'S TOWN, Trelawny — The once quiet and peaceful western Jamaica parish of Trelawny was transformed into a virtual killing field over the past week causing concern and panic in some sections of the birthplace of athletic greats Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell Brown, former Prime Minister Hugh Shearer, among other prominent Jamaicans.And equally concerned are police personnel based in the parish, whose senior representative yesterday appealed to residents to provide information, regardless of how insignificant it may seem to be, as they launched investigations into four murders in the parish over the past week.

“We are appealing to persons with information on these killings to come in and speak to us,” commanding officer in charge of the Trelawny Police Division Superintendent Clive Blair told the Jamaica Observer.

The latest killings — in what has been described as one of the bloodiest weeks in the parish in recent times — occurred in the Clarks Town section of the parish on Friday night when 24-year-old auto technician Shamar Williams and his 19-year-old girlfriend Monique Waldo, both from the community, were ambushed.

Police report that the couple left their home in a Toyota Corolla motor car shortly before 10 o'clock on Friday to purchase food. The police say upon returning home they were ambushed and shot several times by armed men who were lurking in the dark.

The police, who were summoned to the scene, found the bloodied bodies of the couple in the front of the car with multiple gunshot wounds. They reportedly died on the spot.

The incident followed on the heels of the murder of Hyacinthia Wright, the widow of Joseph Wright, a former mayor of Falmouth. The body of the 78-year-old widow was found with her throat slashed at her business establishment in the town around 4:30 pm on Wednesday.

A day earlier 36-year-old taxi operator Dwayne Marrett, of a Daniel Town address in Trelawny, was shot dead by unknown assailants, also in Falmouth.

Superintendent Blair told the Sunday Observer yesterday that investigators are following “several strong leads” in the murder of the former mayor's wife, but noted that they are yet to make any breakthroughs in the other killings in the parish.

Yesterday, residents of Clarks Town — where there have been three murders over the past two weeks — expressed concern over the killings.

“Crime is rampant. I am scared because I don't know who is who, and who will be next,” said a seemingly worried Louise Brown, a 71- year-old pensioner, who appealed for calm.

“I am appealing to the persons who have their differences to talk it over, don't injure or kill each other. Let's all live in peace and harmony,” she urged.

Delvin Thorpe, another resident, expressed similar sentiments.

“I don't know what the motives for the killings are, but I am really concerned and I am appealing for calm,” said the 51-year-old resident.

Meanwhile, Williams' mother, Donna Brooks, was a picture of grief when she spoke to our news team yesterday.

Fighting back tears, she described her son, whom she said she last saw and spoke to last Thursday, as “a very nice person”.

“I have been crying since I got the news on Friday night that he was dead. It's tough. He was easy-going, calm, and easy to get on with, and I am not aware of him having any issues with anybody,” said the teary-eyed mother.

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