UPDATE: Gunmen target Cross Keys in daring robbery spree, residents traumatised
Cross Keys square where four businesses were targeted during a robbery spree by gunmen on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Kasey Williams)

MANCHESTER, Jamaica — Gunmen carried out a daring robbery spree at four businesses in Cross Keys, south Manchester, including a gas station less than 24 hours after a similar incident in Knockpatrick, also in Manchester.

The incidents have left robbery victims traumatised, business owners and residents in fear.

In the latest incident, three gunmen held up and robbed a restaurant, bar, lottery outlet and the gas station in Cross Keys square about 3:00 pm Wednesday afternoon.

“A few of us were standing in the bar and my back was turned to the door and all I heard was ‘nobody move’. When I turned around I was looking into the young man’s gun. Then he said ‘give me everything weh uno have’. One of the guy went around the counter and started taking liquor off the shelf,” a victim of the robbery told journalists.

She said the gunmen took money from the bar and the belongings of those inside.

“He grabbed onto my phone and apron and pulled me towards him. Him shake out every cent out of my apron. He took everything from everybody,” she said.

The robbery spree continued for about 30 minutes until a licensed firearm holder intervened and shot one of the gunmen. A shootout ensued and the licensed firearm holder was also shot and injured.

“We started hearing gunshots from every angle,” the woman said.

The licensed firearm holder has since been hospitalised and the injured gunman and his cronies escaped in a motor car.

READ: Police launch manhunt for injured gunman who held up Manchester gas station

Paulette Richmond, an outspoken resident of Cross Keys, was perturbed by the incident.

“On a whole in Jamaica crime has gotten out of hand, but when it comes in our community right on our doorsteps this is rather disgusting. I am feeling really disgruntled right now about it knowing that if it wasn’t the swift action of a licensed firearm holder, it could have been worse,” she said.

She added that divine intervention is necessary to curb crime.

“We are praying, God will heal the country and heal the land from all of this,” she said.

On Tuesday night gunmen robbed a gas station in Knockpatrick, south of Mandeville, where they held pump attendants hostage.

READ: Gunmen rob Manchester gas station, hold pump attendant hostage

Kasey Williams

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