ST JAMES, Jamaica — Residents of Great River who gathered at the scene of 52-year-old Rose Christian's killing on Tuesday struggled to understand why their community was once again being ripped apart by tragedy. As they huddled together beyond the yellow crime scene tape, they spoke in bewildered tones of the attack on the family's shop that has left Rose's son, 36-year-old Kenique Christian in hospital. Her husband who was in the back of the building was unharmed.
There are unconfirmed reports that the attack was a robbery gone wrong.
According to preliminary reports, the three family members were at their Triple Palms Restaurant, where they all worked, when the incident took place. Rose and her son were in the section where food is served while her husband was cutting up vegetables in the back.
A reported eyewitness said about 2:00 pm two men arrived at the roadside eatery in a silver Axio motor car.
“The two guy go inna shop go buy cigarette inno and then them run out back. Then mi hear how much gunshot, about six or seven gunshot fire. When them run towards the car, a two gun mi see them have inna dem hand,” said the witness who chose not to give a name.
The family matriarch was hit in the head and died on the spot.
Her death brings back unwelcome memories of the last woman murdered in the community. Nicola Clarke was set ablaze by a jealous lover last May and died three months later while undergoing treatment in the United States.
“We going through a lot of things, we traumatised right now because we don't know who next. So we just have to just look and wonder what's going on. Recently we lost a lady who burn up, then we lose two shop round there so last week, so to be truthful I don't even know what to say,” said an obviously upset man who also asked not to named.
The pastor for the church that the Christian family attended, Reverend Glendon Powell of the Unity Hall Open Bible Church, was on the scene and provided a brief session of grief counselling for family and community members.
“Today is a very, very sad day in the history of this particular community. This community is a community that we don't know about this kind of activity happening in,” he remarked.
Those killed, he said, were “good” people.
“The people that operate that business is a couple that has been around for many, many years and the point is that these are Christian people. Their surname is Christian and by nature they are good Christian people as far as I am concerned. These are people who have given their service and their life to community service. It is a very sad day in our history,” he bemoaned.