'Wrong place at the wrong time'

'Wrong place at the wrong time'

Two killed in drive-by shooting said to be 'working' men

Staff reporter

Thursday, September 24, 2020

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BETWEEN sobbing and wiping her tears, Kashaine Oliver had flashbacks to the last interaction she had with her boyfriend Kenroy Gordon, who was one of two people killed in a drive-by shooting on 10th Street in Arnett Gardens, St Andrew, on Monday.

Oliver, 33, said she and Gordon were making plans to have a child, having been together for five years.

“We were planning to have children but we never ready fi nuh baby yet. We say wi a go fix up the house first,” Oliver told the Jamaica Observer.

She said moments before he was killed, Gordon had dropped her off at her workplace.

“Every morning him carry mi guh work. But from inna the morning [Monday] mi just feel down,” she shared.

She said Gordon worked as a bearer for three years but recently lost his job, as the company at which he worked was closed down because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oliver, who works as a cashier, said she is now left to pick up the pieces on her own.

“Mi never happy, but why me?” asked Oliver, as she declared that Gordon was not involved in any wrongdoing.

“He was not a gunman. Him push positive things to people. Him do him work. Him is not a roadside person. Is because him nah work now.

“It was just wrong place at the wrong time,” Oliver said, as she wept openly in Paradise Park in the community, mere metres from where the shooting took place.

According to residents who spoke with the Observer, the two men were sitting on a street bench in the community with others standing nearby when gunmen in a vehicle fired at the group, hitting three people, one of whom is still in hospital.

“Wi really feel cut up about it because a two working youth, two innocent people dead,” one woman voiced in passing.

In the meantime, the mother of the second victim, 28-year-old Michael Francis, who was already mourning the loss of another son shot dead in the same community in February, has been inconsolable since the shooting.

Her youngest son, Romario Williams, told the Observer that Francis was “a loving brother” who always encouraged him to take his education seriously.

“He was my closest brother. Yesterday when I heard I was in shock. Mi couldn't believe it,” said Williams, as he also insisted that his brother was not involved in any wrongdoing.

“Him nuh inna nutten. Him just work, come home and sit down and drink, that's it,” said Williams.

Francis, who worked as a bus conductor, is survived by his girlfriend and 12-year-old daughter.

The south St Andrew community has been dogged by violence over the years and was one of those placed under a state of public emergency.

While the state of emergency has been lifted, checkpoints manned by members of the Jamaica Defence Force are still in place.

The police have linked the killing of the two men to an ongoing gang war in the area.

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