17-year-old shot dead in Westmoreland
The yard where a 17-year-old boy was shot dead on Ricketts Avenue, in Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland on Thursday morning.

WESTMORELAND, Jamaica — A 17-year-old boy was shot dead in a yard on Ricketts Avenue, in Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland on Thursday morning.

The deceased has been identified as Jayre Francis, otherwise called ‘Jay’, of a Ricketts Street address.

Ricketts Avenue is a part of the Zone of Special Operations in Savanna-La-Mar.

In January of this year, Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared a Zone of Special Operations in Savanna-la-Mar South to cover the communities of Russia, Dalling Street and Dexter Street.

READ: PM declares ZOSO in Westmoreland

In his declaration, Holness stated that “…these areas have been captured by gangs and are currently in the grips of terror”.

A resident, who did not want to be identified, told OBSERVER ONLINE that she was awoken by the sounds of gunshots minutes after 3:00 am and later heard that a man died in the community.

The yard the deceased was found in, the resident said, is often used by persons as a “shortcut” to enter another community.

Reports from the police are that residents heard explosions at about 3:00 am and Francis’ body was later found at 5:20 am with multiple gunshot wounds to his head and body. He also had lacerations to his neck.

Francis was taken to the Savanna-La-Mar Public General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

BY KIMBERLEY PEDDIE , Observer Online Writer

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