Woman, 76, shot dead despite begging gunmen to spare her lifeTuesday, January 19, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
MEMBERS of the security forces yesterday maintained a strong presence in several troubled spots across Montego Bay, St James, following a bloody weekend which saw 11 people shot, seven fatally, including 76-year-old Estriana Wilson, who was cut down in a hail of bullets by ruthless gunmen even as she pleaded for her life.
Screams and tears replaced the merrymaking at a street party at Quarry in Montego Bay about 5:30 Sunday afternoon when a group of gunmen, who reportedly alighted from a Toyota Voxy motor car, turned their guns on revellers who scampered for cover, leaving the senior citizen who was sitting at her gate to the mercy of the trigger-happy marauders.
When the shooting ended the bullet-riddled bodies of Wilson and 48-year-old painter Dwight McCallum, also called 'Border Blue', were found lying in blood.
Siblings Rupert Evans, also called 'Bully', and Patricia Riddle, both fought to contain their grief after the killing of their mother, who was said to be sick.
“She just walk come out because a party was on the lane, and she come and sit down. I was sitting beside her and I went in and said I am going to have a shower and just her outside,” the grief-stricken daughter said yesterday.
“When I went inside I heard gunshots start and when I start asking for her they said she is lying outside. They said gunmen just come out of a van and hold a gun at her and she was begging for her life and the gunman said everybody haffi dead and they start firing shots and she drop on her back right between the garbage pan,” Riddle said as she pointed to the bloodied spot where her mother fell.
Tears streamed down the face of her brother, who yesterday called for the execution of people found with illegal firearms in their possession.
“... A could a even my child, from you hold a man with gun you kill him. But the Government alone can't come up with it; we need community and the whole people to support this idea. Send a man a prison for gun can't help crime, it only make more crime. Hold a man with a gun, you put it inna him head and kill him because look them kill me mother now. This is getting out of hand,” bemoaned Evans.
Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, who along with Attorney General Malahoo Forte, Senator Charles Sinclair and members of the security forces yesterday morning visited Quarry and the neighbouring Norwood community, where three people were shot and killed between Friday night and early Saturday morning, said that members of the security forces are active across the area.
“We have had five curfews in Montego Bay since January 1, which means for 10 out of the 18 days [in January] we have had sections of Montego Bay under curfew control. We have had nine cordon-and-search operations, external to those operations. There are [also] five joint operational teams on the ground, led by superintendent and officers of the army in Cambridge, Montego Bay and Barrett Town, all covered by heavy security presence,” Chang said.
The security minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for the St James North West constituency, said the “area where the killing took place in Quarry was under curfew over the holidays and I think that was only relieved a week ago”.
“We will be looking at some of the legislation we have to bring up-to-date. We know we have been a bit behind in that. We have been slow in bringing forward legislation. We have refocused the relevant agencies and will be bringing several legislations to the house very quickly during this first quarter or the year, including a new Firearms Act,” Chang said.
The attorney general, who is also the parliamentarian who represents St James West Central, said that legislation is now at various stages on the way to strengthen crime-fighting measures.