ST JAMES, Jamaica — Just three months after staging a peace march in Tucker on the outskirts of Montego Bay, St James, the Community Development Committee (CDC) has been left to mourn the death of one of its organisers who was murdered in the community on Wednesday night.
Andrea Hanson, a businesswoman and law student, was brutally shot to death shortly after arriving at her place of business about 7:00 pm. After exiting a car, armed individuals shot her multiple times. She later died.
"At this time we are in shock, I feel like we are trying to recover from this. I think so many tears were shed between last night and this morning. It's really a loss," Chardonnae Parkins, president of the CDC, told OBSERVER ONLINE Thursday.
"To be honest, we are deeply saddened. She was a vibrant member of the Tucker CDC. She played an integral role in all of our activities, in all our meetings," she added.
Though she didn’t participate in the peace walk, Hanson was integral in organising the activity, which was a rallying cry for an end to violence in the community.
Her last interaction with the group was last Thursday’s meeting, where they discussed a range of ideas about how to further uplift the community.
"She was very hopeful for these plans and she was having great expectations of the community. We were planning to do a whole lot of work," a sombre Parkins said.
"She has always displayed sincere interest in the community. She is really one of those community players that we'll always be grateful for and we'll always love and we'll always keep in our hearts," she added.
Hanson had just completed her first year of a law programme in The Bahamas and her plan was to continue her studies in September.
"She was trying to get funding for others to attend law school in The Bahamas like herself," Parkins explained.
Members of the community intend to do all they can to preserve Hanson’s legacy. The plan was for details to be hammered out during a meeting of the CDC executive on Thursday evening.
"We'll be doing things to honour her in the coming days; we'll be meeting as an executive team later today," Parkins told OBSERVER ONLINE.
Among those shaken by Hanson’s death is Councillor Kerry Thomas (People's National Party) whose Mount Salem Division includes Tucker. He expressed concern about frequent blood-letting in the community.
"This is the third in this community since the start of the year, right on the heels of a state of public emergency. The truth is, sometimes you wonder what is causing all this," he lamented.