Regional

Violence rocks St Elizabeth South Western; politicians seek meeting with police

Monday, September 04, 2017

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Political representatives in St Elizabeth South Western are seeking a meeting with the police this week to discuss murders and shootings in the constituency last week.

Four men have reportedly been murdered in the Brompton, Hodges, and New Holland areas in recent days — including two in a drive-by shooting on Friday night.

In the Friday night incident, a group of men were reportedly playing dominoes at a shop when gunmen in a passing car opened fire, killing 28-year-old security guard Fritz Brown and 52-year-old labourer Julian Ellis, both of Brompton. A 15-year-old boy who was next door is nursing a gunshot wound to the foot, reports say.

In earlier incidents, the body of 23-year-old Dujon Blackstock of Brompton was found in bushes in Hodges district on Tuesday with the throat cut.

And on Friday, a 16-year-old, named as Devon-Jay Dennis, was reportedly at a bar in New Holland playing pool when a man walked in and shot him in the head, killing him. Some reports suggested that the killing may have been a case of mistaken identity.

An unconfirmed report yesterday also suggested that another resident of Brompton, a man in his 30s, is missing and feared dead.

Efforts to reach police investigators failed yesterday but community sources say lottery scamming and reprisals may account for the violence.

Yesterday, Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth South Western Floyd Green said he was trying to organise a meeting with the Police High Command in the parish, which would also be attended by councillor for the Brompton Division, Withney Smith (JLP), mayor of Black River and councillor for the Mountainside Division Derrick Sangster (JLP) as well as representatives from citizens' organisations and the local chamber of commerce.

“Ideally, we would like to have that meeting tomorrow (Monday) but if not, sometime during the week to see how we can help. we know the police need all the help they can get,” said Green.

The MP, meanwhile, urged residents to tell the police what they know.

Smith said residents in Brompton were on edge following the shootings. “People here are not used to this sort of thing and there is a sense of unease… people are scared,” she said.

Like Green, the councillor urged people to “report to the police any information they may have”.

Last week's murders followed the killing of two alleged housebreakers by a licensed firearm holder in Mountainside in the early hours of last Monday. Reports say the would-be burglars fired shots on being challenged by the householder and were in turn shot and killed. A third man is said to have escaped. Reports up to yesterday said the two dead men were yet to be identified.

— Garfield Myers

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