Third killing in two weeks keeps sections of St James tense

ST JAMES, Jamaica- There is now growing concern about the frequency at which murders and shootings are being committed on Barnett Street in Montego Bay, St James, just meters away from the police station.

The incidents have left the area tense.

On Wednesday, a soup vendor was shot and killed as he prepared for his day in the bus park.

The dead man has been identified as 65-year-old Allan Morgan of Morningside Drive in Brandon Hill, in the parish.

Reports from the Montego Bay police are that citizens stumbled upon the body about 5:00 am and summoned them. On arrival of the lawmen, Morgan's body was seen on its back with a gunshot wound.

Further reports by alleged eyewitnesses are he was shot and killed as he exited his vehicle and had made his way to his cart to get things going for the day. Reports say that he received one shot.

Morgan’s death comes just days after a gunman was shot and killed by members of a Hawkeye team after he shot and injured a watchman on duty at the Barnett Street fire station.

The watchman was hit in the shoulder and groin during the incident. Both men were transported to hospital where the alleged attacker succumbed to his injuries.

READ: Two shot, one fatally at fire station

Just days prior to this, on July 22, a JUTA Tours operator was gunned down in the same vicinity on Barnett Street.

He has since been identified as 32-year-old Milton Smith, otherwise called 'British', of a Pitfour address in the parish. Reports are that about 10:05 pm, residents heard explosions and summoned the police. Smith was later found in a pool of blood suffering from gunshot wounds.

READ: JUTA Tours operator shot dead in Montego Bay

Earlier in June, two taxi operators plying the Cambridge route had been shot, one fatally, near the gates of the nearby Barnett Street police station.

The recent occurrences have made the place tense with individuals calling for more of a police presence in the area, especially at night.

A firefighter, who was at the scene of the murder last Wednesday, said since the station was opened in May, firefighters have been exposed to a number of these incidents.

In fact, he related that when Smith was killed, a large crowd of individuals sought refuge by running into the station grounds.

"We don't know if the people that committed the act ran in the yard as well. And then just the other day they shoot the security. The place no alright, ya man. We want more police in the place" the firefighter remarked.

A business operator on a nearby plaza also called for more police patrol, especially in the bus park, which he said has been a hotbed of crime not limited to murders, but robberies as well.

Davina Henry

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