‘I am just listening out to hear his ringtone’
TANISHA LYNCH, the sister of murdered taxi operator Ian Lynch, is bemoaning the fact that she will no longer hear her brother’s signature ringtone, signalling he was awake and ready to start his day.
This is so because her 47-year-old brother was shot and killed on Friday night, allegedly by a woman, said to have had male accomplices.
“I am just listening out to hear his ring tone â€” Big Baller [song by dancehall artiste Aidonia],” Tanisha told the Jamaica Observer on Monday, as scores of transport operators converged at her home in a show of solidarity and support for the family.
“You can know when him wake up, because the phone start ring non-stop when him turn it on. Then he would start listening to the voice notes from the different taxi WhatsApp groups,” she added, describing her feeling as numb. “He was always clean and his car was always as clean as his white shirt. He had one daughter, who is 26 years old.”
The Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said that around 10:05 pm on Friday, explosions were heard, prompting citizens to summon the police. When cops arrived, they made checks on Ken Hill Drive, where Ian was found on the ground beside a Toyota Fielder motor car. The shooting occurred directly in front of the main gate of the Pembroke Hall High School.
Observer sources allege that following the explosions, a woman who appeared to be clutching a firearm was seen exiting Ian’s taxi. It is said that she was accompanied by two men.
One elderly woman bemoaned that the culprits robbed her and the community of a kind and loving man.
“He was a famous taxi driver. Everybody knew him and loved him. He had Jesus on his mind. He used to pick me up and take me to church. I was sad when I heard it on Sunday morning. I couldn’t believe it. As far as I know, he is not a crime person. He was peace,” the woman said.
Michael Myers, Ian’s half-brother, described him as jovial and someone who was always there for people.
“He is always laughing. I have never heard him and a man quarrelling or fighting yet,” Myers said.
Oscar Finnikin, president and communications director of the All Voice Transportation Group, said the killing of Ian, also called Pretty, marked 52 public transport operators murdered since the start of the year. He said that in the past three years, an alarming 176 of them were killed, which is a threat to Jamaica’s economy.
“No sector in Jamaica has come under this kind of attack like what the public transportation sector is under. If public transport operators withdraw their services and decide to stay home, the economy is going to crash because they carry workers to and from work. We are asking that the Government in Jamaica do something seriously about crime in this country so that our operators can work free from crime, extortionists and from having to pay ground fees. They should be able to come out and go home back to their families each day. Fifty-two members from one sector in the first eight months of one year is very, very bad.
“Pretty was not just an ordinary operator and investor in the sector. He was a teacher and an organiser. He was always one that was crying peace among us. One of the outstanding things we remember about him is that any time we have a public meeting, no matter the number of people there, when Pretty asked for silence, good behaviour and co-operation, everybody would fall in line. I remember that we had a massive motorcade from Heroes’ Circle to the Harbour View roundabout and from Half-Way-Tree to Spanish Town and Portmore. Over 200 people participated. Pretty single-handedly ensured that nobody broke the stop light or did any overtaking. Everybody stayed in order,” Finnikin said.