Robbery, murder amid the wait for Matthew in St James
Amid the nervous wait for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew in St James yesterday, one community was thrown into mourning on learning of the brutal murder of a former schoolboy football star. Meanwhile, a robber who tried to give Jamaica's tourism a black eye was chased down and held by a fleet-footed cop.
In Mt Salem, hurricane preparations were disrupted as residents reacted to the killing of former St James High School daCosta Cup player, Christopher 'LuLu' Curry, who was attacked and stabbed several times by unknown assailants in Catherine Hall on Sunday night.
Curry, who represented both Wadadah FC and Waterhouse FC at the Premier League level, was attacked as he stood along the roadway in the community, which is close to the Fairview Shopping Centre.
He reportedly suffered multiple stab wounds to his neck and chest. He died while being treated at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
"He was such a decent young man ... he was so easy to get along with," said western Jamaica-based sports journalist Craig Oates.
"I am really saddened by this killing."
And while downtown Montego Bay was quiet for the most part, with most of the business district battened down and the streets all but devoid of life, there was high drama when a policeman outsprinted and held a robber who had stolen a bag from a tourist.
Shortly after 1 p.m., two tourists were sightseeing in the vicinity of the KFC restaurant in the heart of the city when they were attacked by two hoodlums, one of whom snatched a bag from one of the visitors.
A policeman who was on foot patrol saw what was happening and chased the robber with the bag. After a brisk sprint, the policeman caught up with the less speedy robber, held him, and recovered the stolen items.
The second robber made good his escape, albeit empty-handed.
When the captured robber was taken back to the scene of his crime, the relieved visitors promptly identified both him and the stolen bag.
The robber was placed in handcuffs and subsequently taken away in a police car. The policeman's action drew praise from both the visitors and the few persons who witnessed the incident.
In the volatile Glendevon community, where gun-toting gangsters have been wreaking murderous havoc in recent weeks, there was a strong police-military presence against a backdrop of residents making last-minute repairs to their homes.
In other sections of western Jamaica, except for the feverish efforts to get emergency shelters fully functional, there was very little activity. Thirty-six people have taken up residence in shelters in Westmoreland, 13 in Hanover, 25 in St James, and 65 in Trelawny.