Gregory Park residents experiencing peace since firebombing suspect killed
What is left of a property that was firebombed in a section of Gregory Park, Portmore St Catherine called Mexico (Photos: Jason Cross)

RESIDENTS of Gregory Park in St Catherine are asserting that since the fatal shooting of an alleged gangster who is said to have firebombed a house in the community they are experiencing a ceasefire.

The deceased, who has been identified as 20-year-old Kevin Hines, was among a small group of men who were alleged to have fire-bombed a house on August 4 in a section of the community called Mexico. The police responded to a report of arson but came across the men who challenged them in a gun battle. Hines was shot dead but his accomplices escaped onto the nearby Dyke Road then into a heavily forested area, which led the security forces to uncover a base where the criminals were stashing a small arsenal of weapons and other items to aid their nefarious activities.

Regarding the newfound peace, one female resident declared that, "Over yah nuh nice; a pure gunman and badman weh a bun dung place and shoot people deh over yah. A true police kill one a di man dem. From dem kill dat man wi nuh hear nothing from di other day. Round here nuh nice man; yu haffi watch yuself. If dem want you and can't catch you, dem bottle boom [firebomb] you house."

Other residents surmised that jealousy and unfairness in lottery scam dealings were behind the violence.

Another premises that was firebombed in Gregory Park, Portmore, St Catherine.

"Sometimes mi will lend you a thing fi mek some money and you nuh waa send it over back to me. The second point is the young ladies. The young ladies go to and from and go all around. When you as a little man a rub two shovel and a do some work, and when you work hard and come een you realise seh a girl gravitate to di man dem weh things a go fast fi dem. When Mary Jane decide seh she going to make a transition, how you a guh feel? Problems a guh gwaan."

Another man who requested anonymity said some people become targets if they refuse to share.

"It is a grudge and a money greed. Don't buy a car first. If you buy your car first, it is either you lef di place or just know seh hatred a guh gwaan. Another thing is turf war."

Since the weapons seizure, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Christopher Phillips, who heads the St Catherine South Police Division, issued an appeal for other suspects to turn themselves in to the police.

They are Shane Williams, otherwise called Gaza Tousaint; a man known as Teacha; Imaro McKenzie otherwise called Munga; and Kirk Wint otherwise called Big Red. To date, none have honoured the order from the SSP. Despite heavy police and military presence in the area as well as numerous operations being carried out, cops have not been able to find them.

"Those persons who were named are still at large but generally for the Gregory Park community, things have been pretty quiet since that last incident. What we are basically doing now is initiating some discussions with some key people from the community, like justices of the peace and pastors. We are looking to partner with the Social Development Commission and some other stakeholders to see what additional intervention we can bring into Gregory Park."

BY JASON CROSS Observer staff reporter crossj@jamaicaobserver.com

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