Seaview Gardens residents beg for peace
CLAUDETTE Lawes' spirit is still broken.
One year after her brother Richard Lawes and three other men were slain in Seaview Gardens, Kingston she has still not found closure.
Yesterday, she was almost at a loss for words as she recalled her shock and awe at receiving word that her brother was cut down by bullets from the guns of ruthless gangsters who were thirsty for blood. "I am still not over it yet. It was really shocking and hard to take," she said in a soft tone.
Lawes, along with Dwight Robinson, Jerome Anthony Goodness and Omar Smith, were victims of a deadly attack by three gunmen who pounced on a group of persons who were playing cards in a section of the community known as 'Marley'. Two other persons were injured in the incident.
Another grieving resident told the Jamaica Observer that none of the four men were involved in any criminality and that they were killed because they lived at that section of the community. "They killed them for no reason as they were all hardworking and had stable families," the woman said.
Despite the pain, however, the grieving residents want peace in their community.
Yesterday, the St Andrew South Safety and Security Branch and grieving residents organised a peace march and meeting in Seaview Gardens to continue the healing process, with the hope that the community does not descend into anarchy and bloodletting again.
The residents also took part in the planting of four Bouganvilla trees at the spot where the quadruple murders took place, in memory of the fallen four.
Last year, 13 people were murdered in Seaview Gardens while only one murder has been recorded in the community this year -- that of T'Ka James who was stabbed to death during a fight with another woman.
Security Minister Peter Bunting, who supported yesterday's march, praised the police for their effort to reach out to the community but urged residents to play their part in stomping out crime.
"The community has to hold up their end as well. Once we have peace in the community we will have development. We will have more businesses and more progress," Bunting said.
In the meantime, head of the St Andrew South Police Division Senior Superintendent Richard Stewart assured the residents that the police would be making an effort to protect them from criminal elements and informed them that two of the suspected gunmen were fatally shot by police in the aftermath of the deadly attack last year.
The alleged mastermind of the killing, which was said to be a reprisal for the killing of a man from another section of the community, was cut down days after the killings by the police in downtown Kingston. Police reported that the man, 19-year-old Davian Gordon, also called 'Diamond', was shot and killed after he opened fire at them and a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol was allegedly taken from his body.