THE nation was rocked on Sunday morning by news of two double murders in parishes Manchester and St James, which also left several injured.
The first occurred when two revellers at a party in Dumfries, St James, were gunned down by rampaging gunmen who sprayed bullets on the venue during the wee hours of Sunday morning, even as the St James police are pulling out all the stops to curb crime in the parish.
The deceased have been identified as 31-year-old unemployed male, Adolphus Holder (also called Gold Ball) of Penngate, Dumfries, in St James, and 22-year-old Jevannie Gordon, also unemployed, of Johnson Hill, Salt Marsh, in Trelawny.
According to the police, Holder and Gordon were among patrons at a party when they were approached by unknown assailants who opened gunfire that sent patrons scampering in all directions.
When the shooting subsided Holder was discovered lying on the ground on his back in a pool of blood, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
Gordon, who had been shot in the neck, was transported to the Falmouth Public General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
A highly placed police source close to the investigation revealed that Holder appeared to have been the target of the attack.
When the Jamaica Observer visited the Falmouth hospital Sunday morning a man, who was among a group of mourners and who introduced himself as Gordon's friend, claimed that while they were at the venue a barrage of gunshots were heard not long after Gordon stopped to talk to another patron.
He said he took cover until after the shooting stopped. Subsequent calls to Gordon's phone went unanswered, he said.
The bereaved man told the Observer that he eventually found out that his friend was shot and rushed to hospital.
The double murder comes sharply on the heels of two murders reported in the Anchovy section of St James between Thursday afternoon and Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday, 44-year-old Orlando Jarrett of a Roehampton, St James, address was shot and killed and another man injured during an attack in close proximity to a church in Anchovy.
According to reports from the Corporate Communications Unit, the official communication arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, about 3:45 am Jarrett and another man were travelling in a motor car along the Long Lane main road in Anchovy when they stopped to make a purchase.
They were reportedly pounced upon and shot by men who alighted a vehicle that drove up.
On Thursday, about 5:30 pm, 42-year-old construction worker and farmer Valroe Scott, also called Eagles or Genna of Anchovy Meadows, Anchovy, St James, was shot by unknown assailants as he rode his bicycle on the Anchovy roadway.
The police were called to the scene and, upon their arrival, Scott was seen lying on his back in a pool of blood with what appeared to be gunshot wounds to his head, chest and left foot, his feet entwined around a green and black bicycle.
He was taken to Cornwall Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, Sunday morning also saw chaotic scenes in the community of Fine Grass, near Chudleigh, Manchester, as a gunman opened fire on patrons at a bar killing two men and wounding two others, days after another man had been killed there.
A relative identified one of the deceased as Stenny Hutchinson, otherwise called Dippy/ Deportee, a tractor operator.
A senior police source told the Observer that investigators believe Hutchinson was the intended target of the attack. "Both [dead] men are from Trelawny, but one lived in the area (Fine Grass). He relocated there," said the source.
Up to press time on Sunday, investigators were trying to determine a motive for the incident.
Reports are that mid-morning on Sunday a gunman walked into the bar, located along the Chudleigh to Christiana main road, and opened fire on a group of men. Hutchinson collapsed at the entrance of the bar while the second victim who was shot in the head was found on the floor inside the bar. Two other men who sustained gunshot wounds ran from the bar.
"One of the men when he got shot tried to drive away and crashed while a car transporting the other [injured] man also crashed," said the police source.
"The deportee, we believe, was the intended target," added the source.
A relative of Hutchinson, who asked not to be named, told the Observer that the incident was shocking.
"One gunman came in and the bartender thought it was a gun salute to the song that was playing. By the time she turned around she saw that this man was on the ground and another man out front and the driver in the car," said the relative who arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting.
He expressed concern about the spate of murders in the Chudleigh area.
"The crime factor in Jamaica has gone way out of control. Right around the corner was another killing just days ago where that man was shot in the eye and head," he said in reference to the April 10 murder of a man in Chudleigh Housing Scheme.
Anthony Williams, 51, a farmer and resident of Chudleigh Housing Scheme was shot dead on April 10. A police report said about 11:30 pm Williams was walking home in the scheme when he was pounced on by gunmen who opened fire hitting him. A suspect was arrested on Saturday in relation to his murder.
"The gun violence is very prevalent on the island," said Hutchinson's grief-stricken relative.
"Him [Hutchinson] did a little farming. If he is involved in anything I wouldn't know. This is very sad. He operated a backhoe," added the relative.
He is calling for a revamp of the police force.
"It is very sad to see how the crime rate has turned up in the country and the police force, to me, needs a reviving with regards to crime. A parameter should have been set up by Holmwood gate, if they did it probably would have given a better effect than to be here unravelling yellow tape," said the relative.