Two dead, three injured in Olympic Gardens attack

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

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WHEN Peaches Allen heard explosions sounding like gunshots Monday evening she never imagined that her son, Steven Whyte, would be among the five people shot.

Whyte and Samuel Johnson, both 33, were playing dominoes and watching a football match, respectively, on Tower Avenue in Olympic Gardens, Kingston, about 7:00 pm when they were attacked and shot by armed men.

Allen, a mother of six, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that when she heard the gunshots she said, “Steven nah out deh so a so mi call mi little grand (child) inside, closed the grille and go back inside the bathroom.”

Shortly after, Allen said she heard someone bellowing her name and immediately she knew something was wrong, so she immediately ran outside towards her gate where she finished putting on her clothes.

“They said him gone, they rush with him to hospital,” she said.

Just prior to the shooting, the woman said she had told her son to fetch water across a nearby gully because the community had been without running water for some time.

Yvette Palmer, a family friend, explained that Whyte was planning to start farming in St Elizabeth.

“I planted pepper and ginger around my yard on Woodpecker Avenue and he came around there and saw them and he said 'yuh fi deh a St Elizabeth a plant,” she said, adding that he was jovial and helpful.

Metres away, Johnson's niece shared similar sentiments.

Karen Dobson said she was inside her house on Saunders Crescent when she heard the explosions.

Dobson, who was in the process of filling her washing machine with water, said she had told her son who was watching the television to turn down the volume. Minutes later she said her aunt's high-pitched voice echoed through the community. However, her uncle was not a concern. She said her younger cousin, who was “always on the road”, came to mind.

“When she come down [the road] she say a Pops (Johnson). Mi run go up there and mi see the blood. Him nah do nobody nothing; him did a watch football. A di football why him stop down there [because] him love football,” she said as she fought to hold back tears.

Up to press time the Observer was unable to ascertain the condition of the other three persons who were injured.

The St Andrew South police were yet to establish a motive for the deadly shooting.

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