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'Javincini' was marked for death - residents

Published:Tuesday | February 9, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Persons leaving the Sam Sharpe Square, venue of the Jamaica Labour Party’s official launch of its election campaign, which ended abruptly after a shooting incident that resulted in the deaths of three people.

Western Bureau:

It would appear that 22-year-old Javin 'Javinci' Campbell was the target of Sunday night's brazen gun attack at the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) mass rally in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, where three persons, including Campbell, were killed and thousands of party supporters forced to flee in panic.

Yesterday, when The Gleaner visited Flankers, where Campbell and Nicholas 'Cow' Irving, another of the persons killed in the incident, both resided, the area was tense. Some residents expressed fear, some vowed revenge, and others seemed resigned to whatever spill-over effects there might be.

Rival gang members from the community traded bullets shortly after 10:18 p.m. while opposition Leader Andrew Holness was giving the main address. In addition to Campbell and Irving, a

St Catherine-based bus driver was killed. Four other persons, including a female vendor, suffered gunshot wounds.

According to the Flankers residents, Campbell was the leader of the Uptown Sparta gang, an offshoot of the Sparta gang, which is linked to a well-known dancehall entertainer.

Irving is said to be affiliated with the Top Hill/West Side gang, which has been in a long-standing feud with Sparta.

According to the residents, Campbell was marked for death as in addition to the feud with the Top Hill/West Side gang, he was also at odds with his old original Sparta allies and was on the police's radar for crimes committed in the area.

"Is long time dem afta him (Campbell), so me nuh know why him pick up himself gone a Sam Sharpe Square fah ... police want him, West Side man dem want him ... all him own old Sparta friend dem want him," said a man, who claimed to be an associate of Campbell's.

"Dem murder him father and now dem come murder him."

WORDS OF COMFORT

Dr Horace Chang, the member of parliament for North West St James, the constituency in which Flankers is located, said he knew Campbell's family quite well and was aware of some of his family history.

"It is very painful, not only in the context of this incident, but his father was killed like this back in Christmas 2006 as he stood at his gate," said Chang. "The family is traumatised ... I can only extend to them words of comfort at this point in time."

With both the police and the JLP declaring that the incident had nothing to do with politics, Chang said that the incident was quite frightening and raised serious questions about the general state of violence in Jamaica.

"It is very worrying that you could have this level of violence at an event like this," said Chang. If people do things like this and feel they can get away with it, they will continue to do it ... this suggests that wherever we have mass gatherings, be it sports or entertainment, we are not safe ... that is part of the real worry."