Scared Granville councillor calls for ZOSO after double murderFriday, July 16, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
GRANVILLE, St James —Councillor for the Granville Division in St James Michael Troupe, who represents the People's National Party, is calling for a zone of special operations (ZOSO) to be declared in the community following Wednesday night's brutal gunslaying of a couple — the latest in a spate of bloodletting in the troubled area.
The police identified the deceased as 28-year-old Ashawn Holness and 28-year-old Jodi Ann Roberts, a security officer.
Police reported that about 11:45 Wednesday night the two were sitting on their verendah when they came under heavy gunfire from three heavily armed men. They died on the spot.
“It is serious, so whether a ZOSO or state of emergency, whatever tool the Government has, we need it in Granville now!” Troupe pleaded.
“If ZOSO is the answer, bring it on; if state of emergency is the answer bring it on. Right now the residents of Granville are calling for anything that can subside the crime in Granville. I am the councillor for the past 23 years here and I am getting scared myself, really getting scared,” said Troupe.
Still terrified, one woman who was at the home when the gunmen struck, said: “All me hear a just shot, just shot. Me just traumatised right now. I don't know why, only God alone can tell why,” she said, her voice cracking as tears streamed down her cheeks.
A distraught brother of Holness argued that he does not have a clue why anyone would want to harm his brother.
“It is unfortunate that him and the girl dead pon the verandah. Me can't tell you what happen. I was at work when me get the call say me brother and a girl dead pon the verendah. Me come up here and see the two bodies lying on the verandah,” he said.
“He was alright but is just that he loved company. Apart from that, to me, he was alright. Never hear him name call up say him shoot nobody or kill nobody. But to me he was alright. Nobody never come to me and say he was involved in anything, so I don't know. It is what it is, we have to move on.”
Troupe, meanwhile, claimed that the spike in murders in the community started three months ago when a man was murdered. Since then eight others have died.
“There is a gang split because of some in-fighting and that's what is happening now. It has now split into five different gangs in Granville,” he said.
A senior police officer close to the investigations told the Jamaica Observer confirmed that the killings were a result of an ongoing feud amongst splintered factions of the Big Yard gang.
“Over the last two weeks people are moving out like doves,” Councillor Troupe said. “Right now Granville is on fire. I don't know no better way to say it. Over the last two months Granville erupt and the violence that is happening right now is very disappointing to me.”