Murder of two children in 24 hours pushes MP to offer reward; PNP slams Gov't

Friday, May 08, 2020

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Opposition spokesman on national security Fitz Jackson is again blasting the Andrew Holness Administration for what he says is its failure to tackle the crime monster which has seen more than 450 people murdered across the island since the start of this year.

Eight murders in the 24 hours ending just before 6:00 am yesterday have threatened to erase the gains of local crime fighters who had reported a decline in all major crimes since the island started its battle with COVID-19.

At the start of this week the police had reported a more than 20 per cent reduction in major crimes, with 442 murders in 2020, reflecting an almost two per cent decline over the same period last year.

But the spike on Wednesday has led Jackson to more stringent criticisms of the anti-crime plan being implemented by the Administration.

“While the country grapples with the real threat of the coronavirus, which is here and spiralling, the deaths from violent crimes continue to increase daily,” Jackson told the Jamaica Observer.

“Between Wednesday, May 6 and yesterday, eight persons were violently murdered. This is past alarming.

“The continuing failure of the Administration of Prime Minister Andrew Holness to keep Jamaicans safe is now a matter of fact, and not opinion. This prime minister, and members of his Administration, will not admit to failing to contain crime, even when the fact is staring them in the face. Personal ego is clearly being placed ahead of the safety of Jamaicans,” charged Jackson.

The latest crime victims include 15-year-old Niron Taylor, a student of Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School who was killed in Denham Town about 11:30 Wednesday morning, and eight-year-old Toya Brown, who was fatally shot hours later, also in Denham Town, in what is believed to have been a reprisal attack.

Member of Parliament for Kingston Western Desmond McKenzie has offered a reward of $300,000 for information leading to the capture of those responsible for the killing of the two children.

“I am grappling with mixed emotions… I am really heartbroken about these killings, and at the same time I am outraged at just the utter wickedness and bloodthirsty mentality that can cause anyone to wipe two innocent children from the face of the earth,” said McKenzie.

“I want to encourage the people of my constituency, especially those living in Denham Town and Tivoli Gardens, to stand up and be counted, and reveal all they know to the authorities. I am appealing to them to break the shackle of silence and show their disgust and outrage against these terrorists who commit murder and mayhem and make their lives miserable.

“I want them to understand that giving information is the best weapon against these evildoers who have deprived Jamaica of two children the future of the country. Let me go further… if you have information, and you are afraid to share it with the police, get in touch with me. I will use every resource I have to help to bring these criminals to justice,” declared McKenzie.

Yesterday, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said a man has been arrested in connection with both murders which he described as “vile and brutal”.

Chang said the man, whose identity is being withheld pending further investigations, was nabbed by police during an operation. He was in possession of a firearm during his arrest in Denham Town; another firearm was also seized near the area.

He said the arrest of the man was due to improved mobility and increased use of technology.

In addition to the murder of the two children, the bloodletting continued in St Ann where 26-year-old Andy Reid, better known as “Fry Yeye”, and cook shop operator Ivan Williams, otherwise called “Bigga”, were fatally shot in the Ocho Rios Market.

The ongoing gang war in August Town, St Andrew, also claimed another life on Wednesday when 36-year-old Adrian Calvere Levy, an auto-mechanic of Constitution Hill, was fatally shot by unknown assailants.

Also in the Corporate Area, 26-year-old Anthony “Reds” Rigg of a Grassquit Glade, Kingston 11 address, was shot dead by unknown assailants on Oakland Road.

In St Catherine, 37-year-old Curtis Doyle, a mechanic of a Dela Vega City, Spanish Town address, was gunned down on Adelaide Street in the town, while in the neighbouring Clarendon, 23-year-old Devaughney “Solo” Powell of a Bucks Common, May Pen address in the parish, was fatally shot in an area known as Bucks Haven.

A 29-year-old female was also shot in that incident. She was taken to hospital where she was admitted.

The police were also called to two shooting incidents in Montego Bay, St James on Wednesday, where gunmen left two people injured.

Yesterday's crime details were not available up to press time but in a mid-morning social media post, Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams reported a shooting incident in the vicinity of the temporary shelter on Church Street in downtown Kingston.

Williams said two people were shot in that incident and taken to hospital.

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