NORWOOD, St James — A nine-month-old girl, who suffered damage to her internal organs and her arm, is now fatherless after marauding gunmen opened fire in Norwood, St James, Wednesday night. Her father is one of two men fatally shot. Three men were injured.
The shooting comes despite an active zone of special operations (ZOSO) in the community and St James being placed under a state of public emergency since Tuesday.
The dead men have been identified as 31-year-old Delano Christie, the child's father; and 26-year-old Jordan Brown.
The child was with her father, as the adults enjoyed a game of ludo at his Hacca Street shop, when two men approached the unsuspecting group and opened fire. The incident occurred about 8:15 pm.
Councillor Joshua Cummings (Jamaica Labour Party, Norwood Division) described the attack as terrible and heart-rending. He is concerned that violence by some individuals continues to paint a bad impression of the community.
"We are very much uncomfortable with what is happening. It cannot be that you are in a space where people have the perception that this community is a violent community and then the vast majority of the people are working-class people, law-abiding citizens," he pointed out.
He wants the police to do more.
"The police need to be aware, more alert, need to be more serious about the policing," he remarked following the incident.
However, a lawman, who spoke on condition that he is not identified, said patrols have been beefed up in the area and — despite a recent uptick — there has been a reduction in murders overall.
He explained that long-standing tension within at least four areas has again resurfaced.
Two weeks ago, two men were found dead in a house on Jones Street, about 200 metres from Wednesday night's attack.
After the Jones Street incident, a curfew was declared in the community as the security forces stepped up their presence in the area and also limited the movement of individuals.
However, despite all that, criminals continue to plague Norwood and residents are visibly afraid.
"Mi born and grow ya suh, pon Hacca Street and mi have two daughter. To how mi see tings a gwaan right now, mi fraid fi see mi youth dem a road or send them a school; mi haffi a carry them," one man lamented.
He declined to provide his name.
"Mi fraid right now inna mi owna place where mi born and grow. We want more policing inna the place; police [who] can socialise with everybody would be better for we right now," he added.
Another man said he has been saddened by the continual violence that has left several of his friends dead.
"Most of the youth dem that pass off a mi friend dem, close friend dem from day one. The whole a we grow up inna the community. Mi feel it fi di youth dem," he said.