Thu | Sep 21, 2017

A family's joy turns to sorrow

Published:Saturday | October 10, 2015 | 10:07 PMAdrian Frater
Errol Mangaroo, father of Byron Mangaroo, one of the six people killed in Green Island, Hanover, on Thursday night, is comforted by a family friend.

Thursday was a happy day for  63 year-old Lynette Bloomfield and her family as her beloved daughter, 36 year-old Kerry-Ann Bloomfield, who resides in the United States, had just arrived at the family home on vacation.

Obviously waiting to share in the goodies, which often come with visiting relatives from overseas, the family members were all at home, enjoying good conversation and looking forward to a few days of bonding and good times.

However, within hours, the promise of a good night of family bonding turned tragic when gunmen stormed the Bloomfield’s ten apartment board house located on Campbellton Road, in the Logwood area of Green Island, in Hanover, and left death and destruction in their wake.

In a brutal attack, the grandmother, her visiting daughter, her son, her two grandchildren and a nephew were all killed and their bodies left to burn in the house, which the killers set ablaze.

On Friday morning, the community was in a daze. Instead of the usual fresh air, which is associated with early mornings in rural Jamaica,  the community was covered with a heavy stench of death -  the scent generated by the burning flesh still hanging on to the skeletal remains in the burnt out house.

“I don’t care what they did …nobody deserves to die like that,” a tearful resident told The Gleaner. “Davian (Davian Mahabee the youngest victim) was just 15 years old.. Alia (Davian’s sister) was just 18 years….they have been robbed of a chance to live their dreams….this is wicked…most brutish.”

Based on information gathered from residents, the carnage has its genesis in an ongoing feud between two rival gangs operating in the Green Island area. It is believed that one of the victims of Thursday night's massacre might have played a part in an incident in which a gangster was killed last week.

“Two men decide that each of them wants to be the ‘don’ for the community and that is the cause of the problem,” a resident told The Gleaner. “One of them (the men aspiring to be the don) was killed a few days ago so what you are now seeing is reprisal.”

While the residents are seemingly fearful that more persons will be killed, in what they say is a bitter feud by gangsters to take control of proceeds from the illicit lottery scam, which is festering in the area,  the police have vowed to put an end to the mayhem.

“I don’t want when we find them and carry them to jail you quarrel and say they are breadwinners," said Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Winchroy Budhoo who is the police’s top commander on the ground in western Jamaica.  “… breadwinner and they never work…breadwinners and they drive the best cars and build the biggest houses and they never work…they are in lottery scamming and they are robbing people in the United States and we are going to mash it down.”

Councillor for the Green Island division and former mayor of Lucea, Shernet Haughton, who visited the community, said she was shocked by the incident but took comfort in the fact that the police say that they know who the killers are and will be sparing no efforts to bring them to justice.

“I am deeply saddened by this incident….it has cast a dark shadow over the community…it has ripped apart a whole generation…from grandmother down to her grandchildren,” said Haughton.