Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Exodus - Fearful residents flee Logwood after murders in Hanover community

Published:Wednesday | October 14, 2015 | 10:00 AMAdrian Frater
National Security Minister Peter Bunting (centre) listening to the concerns of residents last Friday in the wake of the multiple killing of members of one family in Hanover the night before. At left is Commissioner of Police Dr Carl Williams.

Western Bureau:

Despite a strong police-military presence in Logwood, Hanover, the community where six persons were slaughtered gangland-style last Thursday night, some residents are still moving from the area out of fear that the killers might return to wreak more havoc.

"These men have a killing mindset and they want blood. They know the area better than the police and soldiers. They know the shortcuts and back passes," a fearful resident told The Gleaner.

"When they smoke the hot grabba (half-green tobacco) mixed with the ganja, they are raving mad. These are heartless killers we are talking about."

According to the resident, the area, which is renowned for ganja farming and is now becoming a hotbed for the lottery scam, is a place that is flooded with illegal firearms as young men, said to be aligned to two gangs in the area, have been arming themselves for a long time in anticipation of the turf war, which is now unfolding.

"The guns are plentiful around here and shots are fired regularly," a resident told The Gleaner in the aftermath of Thursday night's massacre. "Sometimes they (the gangsters) will just idly fire shots at even barking dogs. Most of the men with the guns are not bright, and as you should know, a gun in the hands of an idiot can only spell trouble."

It is believed that Thursday night's gruesome killings were carried out as an act of reprisal for an incident in which the 'don' of one of the gangs was shot dead.

It is believed that one of the persons who was in the house, which was torched, was aligned to one of the gangs.

Those killed have been identified as 63-year-old Lynette Bloomfield; her 40-year-old son, Mark Bloomfield; her 36-year-old daughter Kerry-Ann Bloomfield; her 18-year-old granddaughter, Alia Mahabee; her 15-year-old grandson, Davian Mahabee; and her 30-year-old nephew, Byron Mangaroo.

Four others were injured.

In the aftermath of the killings, National Security Minister Peter Bunting and Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams, who both visited the area, promised a strong police-military response in a bid to apprehend the killers and restore order to the community.

"I heard what the security minister and the commissioner have said, but it is not going to be easy. People know who the gangsters are, but they are not talking because, in some instances, they are family members," the resident told The Gleaner.

"I am making arrangements to leave because I love my life more than the material things I have here."

On Saturday, the police reported that they had taken one man into custody in connection with the shootings.

However, the residents say those directly involved in the criminal mayhem could number as high as 30 to 40 young men.

adrian.frater@gleanerjm.com