Anguish in Anchovy - Football competitions called off as residents mourn attack that leaves two dead and four injured
Residents of the rustic community of King Gate in Anchovy, St James, where six persons were shot, two fatally, on Sunday during a football game, remained shell-shocked yesterday, fearing that the rash of murders that has affected sections of Montego Bay have now reached their community.
"Not in this part! I have been here 50-something years and this is the first time this community seeing dem something here," bemoaned Marva, who lives metres from where one of the men, 18-year-old Ryon Hinds, died on top of a grave after being shot in the head.
The other man, Ricardo Thompson, 23, died at hospital, while the injured persons were still admitted in serious condition up to yesterday.
"About two years ago, a man said to be of unsound mind cut off a lady hand. The two of them did share the place and were arguing," added the woman, as she glanced at the sky, seemingly searching for additional memories.
"And about six years ago there was a bus robbery down the road and them shot and kill a youth. Those two incidents, there's no more I can remember anywhere near here," she continued.
"Me not saying that teeth and tongue don't meet, people argue, but then they always get back. What happened Sunday is a first here," repeated the mother of two men - one a taxi operator and the other a mechanic - both in their 30s.
None of the residents who spoke with The Gleaner yesterday would guess what propelled two gunmen to walk up the narrow, deteriorating road that leads to the football field at the top of a hill in the community.
According to the residents, all they know is that the gunmen stepped into a small wooden shop opposite the field, ordered a drink, and, once outside, turned and sprayed the occupants with bullets.
The explosions ended not only the game, but also a vibrant community football tournament that started in July and was to culminate next month.
"Six people get shot and the young youth, me hear him get shot in him head. Him run go lay dung pon the grave round there. If you look right now you see the blood spot turn black," interjected a younger woman, hinting at a ghostly symbolism in the young man's final act.
The residents said the two men killed worked on a nearby construction site.
Hinds' mother grieves
Yesterday made a week since Hinds moved into King Gate to live with his mother to take up the job opportunity, while Thompson was preparing to celebrate his 24th birthday this week.
Hinds' mother was yesterday said to have left the community to grieve with relatives nearby, while residents said the organiser of the football competition would be too shaken to speak.
"It is not just Montego Bay, it is all over. These are the final days. God tell us about these days. The police, nobody can do anything about it. All we have to do now is pray and ask God to intervene," said Marva, as she joined others in calling for divine intervention to stop the bloodletting in Montego Bay.