Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Another double murder in St James - Mother and son slaughtered in Tucker

Published:Thursday | May 12, 2016 | 5:00 AMPaul Clarke

Western Bureau:

A mother and her 12-year-old son became the latest victims of the vicious cycle of murder in St James after gunmen broke into their home in Tucker, St James, early Wednesday morning and sprayed them with bullets as they slept.

The dead woman has been identified by neighbours as 49-year-old Yvette McLean, who was unemployed, and her son, Devontae Haughton, a student of Hopewell High School in Hanover. Other family members, who were asleep in the house, luckily escaped the carnage.

Residents in the tenement yard told The Gleaner that approximately 2:50 a.m., they heard banging sounds, like a door being kicked down and, shortly after, they heard shots being fired inside the house.

"I only heard the barrage of gunshots and I grabbed my little daughter and her mother and started to pray," an obviously shaken resident told The Gleaner, on condition of anonymity.

"After the shooting done, I heard screams for 'Murder!' I couldn't believe what was going on."

 

In a state of panic

 

When residents felt it was safe enough to venture outside, they went to investigate and found McLean and her son dead, having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. The other family members were distraught as they looked on in disbelief.

"We were shaking like leaves on a tree," said another neighbour, as she related how they were all in a state of panic as the shots rang out inside the house.

Senator Charles Sinclair, former mayor of Montego Bay, who visited the scene, said the Government must consider taking drastic measures to stem the crime wave in St James, which has seen more than 70 murders since the start of the year.

"What I see here this morning is just heart-wrenching. What I see happening in St James is really also very serious and it speaks volumes in respect to certain radical decisions that will have to be made," Sinclair said.

"There is a need for major changes in how we fight crime. The police are in need of further resources, both human and technological, to carry out their functions effectively, so that they can investigate in a thorough way to catch these criminals," added Sinclair.

Despite the introduction of several new policing initiatives, St James had a record 212 murders last year. With just over four months into 2016, unless a way is found to stem the tide, murder could again reach record numbers this year.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com