WATCH: Holness lauds police after suspect held in killing of students
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right) with Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clifford Blake

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Prime Minister Andrew Holness has commended the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on capturing the person of interest who has been held in connection with the brazen murder of two schoolboys in Salt Spring, St James.

Holness had directed the security forces to spare no effort in apprehending the individual and bringing him to justice.

The prime minister commended the police while he was briefed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clifford Blake on Sunday at the Norman Manley International Airport after arriving back on the island from Saudi Arabia.

“I think Jamaica should take note of the effectiveness of our security forces and, you know, we generally define effectiveness sometimes in terms of the use of a hammer on these criminals. Maybe people would rejoice that this culprit was killed. The truth of the fact is that our security forces must follow all the necessary protocols regarding the use of force, and so you were able to capture him alive. And I’m certain that he will go through the process and be brought to the courts,” Holness said.

On Saturday, it was revealed that a person of interest in the November 6 triple murder was apprehended by the police.

According to the police, on Friday between 3:30 pm and 8:30 pm, a coordinated, intelligence-led operation was effectively carried out in Barrett Town, St James, culminating in the apprehension of the person of interest. The police also revealed that during the operation, a maintenance worker at the guest house was also detained, pending further investigation.

READ: Person of interest held in connection with Salt Spring triple murder

“The success of the State of Public Emergency in St James has not only been an inspiration for the citizens of St James, but it has been an inspiration for the members of the security forces. We are utilising the powers under the regulation to go after these gang members and last night’s successes could be attributed to this operational success that we are having,” DSP Blake said.

DSP Blake went on to reveal that some of these gang members have dispersed and are in other areas, but the pursuit of them continues.

Following the shooting, the police identified the victims as seven-year-old Justin Perry and nine-year-old Nahcoliva Smith, both students; and Tevin Hayle, otherwise called ‘Bancel’, 26. All three were from Salt Spring. The three were shot dead when a gunman opened fire on a taxi they were in. Police believe Hayle was the intended target of the gunman.

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