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Murder in Angels!

Civil servant gunned down outside home in Spanish Town

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, January 19, 2013    

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JAMAICANS yesterday reacted with shock and disbelief to the murder of civil servant Sean Thompson, the director of corporate services at the Ministry of Youth and Culture.

Thompson, a 45-year-old resident of Angels Estate in Spanish Town, was attacked and shot several times as he was about to exit his vehicle at the front of his home in the middle-class St Catherine community about 10:00 Thursday night. He is survived by his widow, who is also a government employee, and children.

"More than 20 spent shells were removed from the scene where the bullet-riddled body of Thompson was found in his vehicle," said one police source.

Police said last night that they were gathering vital evidence in the case which they hoped would lead to the apprehension of persons responsible for the murder, which came just 24 hours after the shooting death of registered nurse Shellion Pinnock Lafayette, who was ambushed in Port Maria as she drove home from work at the Annotto Bay Hospital.

Thursday night's murder of Thompson was condemed by several Jamaicans who called on the police yesterday to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to bring the killers to justice.

Police, in the meantime, held close to their chest the latest evidence in the case, but hinted that based on information gathered there was "more to the case than meets the eye".

A source told the Jamaica Observer that two men who were travelling in a silver motor car at the time of the shooting were among persons being sought by the police for information that could assist with the murder probe.

Yesterday morning, shattered glass from the window of Thompson's motor car remained close to his gate where relatives, who were apparently still in shock, remained tight-lipped about the incident.

Several police vehicles were seen patrolling the area as fearful-looking residents shunned the news team.

At the Ministry of Youth and Culture, work was disrupted for several hours as employees grieved openly for their fallen co-worker.

Minister Lisa Hanna also expressed shock and regret at Thompson's death, while Acting Permanent Secretary Sydney Bartley said the news would be difficult for the entire ministry, its management and staff to deal with.

Huntley Medley, the ministry's advisor, said several counselling sessions were held at the ministry where Minister Hanna and a team, led by Doreen Grossett, director of the employee assistance programme in the Ministry of Finance, met with employees as part of efforts to help them cope with the tragedy.

"The atmosphere at the ministry is one of disbelief," said Medley, who added that several nurses were present at the ministry to attend to employees in need of medical attention.

In the meantime, the ministry said arrangements were being made for grief counselling to be available for Thompson's co-workers.

Opposition spokeswoman on youth, sports, gender affairs, entertainment, and culture Olivia 'Babsy' Grange also expressed regret at the killing.

Thompson, she said, grew up in Tawes Meadows in her Central St Catherine constituency and was not only a disciplined and hard working civil servant, but was also actively involved in community projects in St Catherine, including the Meadows Football Club, which he served as manager.

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