Two held for murder of little boy and his momWednesday, July 21, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Two people have been taken into custody for questioning in connection with the shooting death of a four-year-old boy and his mother during Monday's pre-dawn attack at their home at Retirement in Granville, here in St James.
The deceased have been identified as 42-year-old vendor Shelly-Ann Shaw and her four-year-old son Jamar Powell, both of Hill Top in Retirement.
“There are two persons who have since been arrested and the police are maintaining a strong presence in the space as we speak,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Clifford Chambers told the Jamaica Observer last evening.
Police reported that about 3:30 Monday morning the four-year-old and his mother were at home when three masked men brandishing handguns entered the yard and started shooting at the board house, hitting the child and the woman. Both were taken to Cornwall Regional Hospital where they died while undergoing treatment.
The killing of the mother and her child followed last Wednesday night's deadly gun attack in the nearby Granville community which left 28-year-old Ashawn Holness and 28-year-old Jodi Ann Roberts, a security officer, dead.
Police reported that about 11:45 Wednesday night the two were sitting on their verandah when they came under heavy gunfire from three heavily armed men. They died on the spot.
Security Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Dr Horace Chang has blamed an ongoing gang feud for the recent bloodletting in the Granville area of St James.
“There is a festering gang war in Granville, and although we have removed the leadership [of the gangs], the second line leadership [is] now fighting over what you might call status; there is [also] an intra-gang and inter-gang conflict between two factions; one traditional and one smaller gang which is emerging with more prominence,” said Dr Chang, the Member of Parliament for St James North Western.
“The police are targeting [these gang members] and they have evidence to charge them, so we should see some improvement over the next couple of weeks,” he said.
ACP Chambers also attributed gang warfare to the mayhem being carried out in the area.
“... You have a split in 2017 and as a result of the split you have each faction going against each other. You have... about 10 murders since the start of the year, including two doubles, so it moves now into a tit for tat,” ACP Chambers told the Observer.
He also pointed out that various foot tracks that the gunmen use to access and exit the community pose a challenge to the law enforcers.
“The problem it poses to the police is that you can literally move in the Retirement space from one end to the other without walking on the main road. Foot tracks, foot paths, and all of that pose a challenge for policing,” he said.
He added: “These guys know the foot tracks because they born and grow there their entire lives. Not only that, they know the houses and the relatives of each other because they were once operating as a group and they are using the cover of night for their attack. And even under the cover of darkness they are still using masks. So we are relying heavily now on forensics.”
“The thing is they do the damage and go out and then come back [to the community]. That's the modus operandi in St James now. They will hurt somebody and then they move out very quickly,” Dr Chang said.
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