UPDATE: Sadness, shock as best friends murdered in ClarendonWednesday, February 24, 2021
CLARENDON, Jamaica - A second double murder in Clarendon within five days has sent shock waves throughout the Hayes and Raymonds communities, as news spread of the killing of two young men Tuesday night.
The bodies of 30-year-old Kurt Taylor, a taxi operator; and his best friend, 28-year-Odane Brown, who was employed to Jamalco, were found slumped over in a white Toyota Probox taxi at the intersection of Portland Cottage and Rocky Point.
Both had what appeared to be gunshot wounds to their heads
According to the police, the incident, which happened sometime after 6:00 pm, is a worrying trend as there has been an uptick in murders in the parish.
This is the third double murder in the parish within one month.
Superintendent of Police in charge of Operations, Christopher Phillips, told OBSERVER ONLINE that an investigation has commenced into the killing, but people are tight lipped about the incident.
“Already we have started to do a detailed assessment of what is happening in the parish. We already know Clarendon has an issue with guns and how people deal with their conflicts, but we are not going to relent -- we are going to double our efforts and see how best we can arrest this problem. So far we theorise there might have been a third person travelling in the unit based on where the spent casings were found,” the lawman said, as he appealed for cooperation from residents.
Councillor for the Hayes Division, Scean Barnswell, said the communities were jolted by the shootings.
“Kurt was a promising young man who was ambitious and was going places. He started out as an entrepreneur selling pastries to school children and other residents in the community and that trade earned him the alias 'Cakey',” he said, adding that the deceased also worked as a disc jockey on Best FM.
“He was well known throughout the community, particularly the school districts. He started out selling baked goodies on a [hanger], then he got a basket, then he got a bicycle, and we were really happy with his progress. So when we learnt that Kurt was now a taxi operator, people in the community were really proud of him to know that he has come such a far way. This loss has really shaken up the community.”
Barnswell, who also knew Brown well, said he too was another promising young man as he got a recent promotion at his job.
“For him to lose his life the way he did at the hands of criminals in the manner that it did has really sent shock waves through the Raymonds and Hayes districts. We have really lost two talented young men.”
He is making an impassioned plea to people who may have information to report it to the police.
“This is the third double murder within a month in the parish and I'm puzzled as to what may be causing this trend. So I'm calling on the security minister to deploy more boots on the ground and to make use of technology to respond quickly and ensure that these persons have no safe haven in the parish,” he said.
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