AN internal gang feud in the hotbed community of Denham Town in West Kingston has been blamed for recent murders in the troubled community, including yesterday's shooting death of a young man.
The man, identified as Ryan Smith, 23, was shot dead about noon yesterday at the intersection of Charles Street and Rose Lane. Another man who was shot in the side was admitted to hospital. Smith's murder brought to seven the number of people killed in the community since the recent flare-up of violence.
Police reported that Smith and the other man were in the vicinity of a funeral parlour when they were attacked and shot. Smith died on the spot.
"Him not too long come out of him yard and we hear five shot. When we run and look we see say the two of them get shot," one resident said.
Most of the residents were, however, tight-lipped and stood with stony faces as officers from the Major Investigative Task Force scoured the area for clues near the spot where Smith's body lay sprawled on the asphalt.
A policeman on the scene questioned why residents declined to give them information about the murder as the brazen attack occurred in broad daylight in a bustling section of the community.
"Nobody don't see anything. Everybody only hear the shots and then see the man lying on the ground bleeding. Nobody saw anything? That is too hard for me to believe," the policeman said in frustration.
The Kingston West Police Division reported that at least seven people have been killed in the last month as gang members quarrel over the "control of turf".
Earlier this month, 20-year-old Candice Johnson, alias "CJ", who was five months pregnant, and Dwayne Stewart, 22, were about to leave their home in Denham Town when gunman pounced and peppered them with bullets. They died on the spot. Homicide investigators believe the double killings were a reprisal for a killing that took place in the community hours earlier.
Johnson and Stewart had only moved to the Percy Street, Denham Town residence a day before they met their demise.