'Whole heap a gunshot'
Residents shocked by Spot Valley shoot-out
Residents say a river and a steep gully behind the bushy area in which the armed men were pinned down by the joint police/military team prevented them from escaping.

SPOT VALLEY, St James — When a handful of men suddenly moved into their community residents of Compound had no idea they were wanted by the police who had labelled them murderous gang members.

It was only when the dust settled on Saturday — after a fierce gunfight between members of a joint police/military operation and the men — that residents learnt their identity.

"The man dem never give any problem and dem just in the place not doing much, so it was a surprise when we hear dem in a gang and a murder people," said one resident among the few willing to talk. He refused to give his name.

According to Spot Valley residents, who requested anonymity, the thugs' unfamiliarity with the terrain appears to have been their downfall.

They say it was in a section heavy with trees and overgrown bushes where the confrontation took place, with the armed men trying to take cover as the security forces took evasive action while returning fire.

"How I hear it, the man them have the river behind them which have a deep gully, so because of that them couldn't run and go down in Barrett Town or wherever, and that's how the police them get them," one man remarked.

Compound, a relatively quiet area, sits in the hills nestled between Spot Valley and Barrett Town in St James. The area made the news on Saturday when word came that gunmen had engaged cops and soldiers in a shoot-out in Spot Valley. At the end of it, three of the armed men were dead: 24-year-old Nester "Zaddo" Gallimore, along with siblings 24-year-old Jovaughn and 19-year-old Jadayne Henry.

As the Jamaica Constabulary Force's media release described the events, two of the gunmen killed were among Jamaica's most wanted, and all three "are believed to be responsible for at least 10 murders in the parish".

Gallimore is said to have been on the police's radar since 2019 when he was held on a shooting charge in Retirement, St James. There are also unconfirmed reports that the group is responsible for a recent double murder in the Dumfries section of the parish, among other killings.

In the meantime, a visit to Compound on Sunday saw most doors firmly shut and residents unwilling to speak about what took place the day before. Two men who were seen in a car quickly pointed out that they were not from the area, merely passing through.

One resident of Compound, though, described what the stand-off sounded like.

"Is a whole heap a gunshot buss up there!" he told the Jamaica Observer.

The man said the explosions could be heard from across a number of other communities in the area.

"The thing never normal," he added.

He also repeated rumours, swirling since Saturday, that a lawman had been injured during the shoot-out. Police sources have told the Observer, though, that none of their own was shot during the confrontation.

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