Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Cops still probing Sam Sharpe Square shooting - We have identified one of the killers, says McGregor

Published:Friday | March 11, 2016 | 3:00 AMAdrian Frater

Western Bureau:

While a month has elapsed since armed thugs traded gunfire at a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) mass rally in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, the police's probe into the incident is still incomplete, though significant progress has been made.

"One of the persons shot and killed, his murder was cleared up on the other person, who was killed," said Senior Superintendent of Police Steve McGregor, the commanding officer of the St James Police Division.

"... The first one who was shot and killed was done by the other one who was shot and killed."

In the incident, which was sparked by a long-standing feud between the Flankers-based gangs the Sparta and the Rebel, the two gang leaders, 22-year-old Javin 'Javinci' Campbell, and Nicholas 'Gov' Irving, were both killed.

"We are still doing our investigations to try to ascertain who killed the other person," said McGregor, who noted that the rivalry between the gangs had been going on for several years.

"The two persons who were killed hailed from the Flankers community, so naturally, the focus is on that community."

The gunfight occurred while the then opposition leader, now prime minister, Andrew Holness, was giving the main address at the rally.

PREMATURE END TO RALLY

Frightened JLP supporters, who had packed the historic square, fled in panic, forcing a premature end to the rally.

In explaining how the police came to the determination that one of the slain gangsters was killed by the other, McGregor said that the police used a combination of forensic data and statements gathered at the scene.

"Forensic data and statements we have gathered have led us to that conclusion, but the investigation is still ongoing," said McGregor.

With regard to the police's bid to break the back of the gangs, who were also fingered by the police for the nomination day attack on a JLP motorcade in Flankers that resulted in the death of one man and extensive damage to several vehicles, McGregor said that the police were working around the clock in the community.

"We have established an around-the-clock presence in the community, and we are trying our best to see how we can dismantle these two gangs," said McGregor.

"We will not stop until we bring order to this community ... . We owe it to the law-abiding residents."

adrian.frater@gleanerjm.com