Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Nomination Day attack

Published:Saturday | November 12, 2016 | 11:00 AMEdmond Campbell, Jason Cross
Angela Brown Burke

Nomination Day activities in West Kingston were disrupted yesterday with the shooting of the son of imprisoned Tivoli Gardens strongman, Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. Coke's sister and a councillor who was nominated also got injured in the melee which followed the incident.

Law-enforcement sources told The Gleaner that Michael Christopher Coke was among a group of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters in the vicinity of Tivoli Courts when he was shot in the head.

"He was with a group of JLP supporters who had congregated in front of Tivoli Courts when explosions were heard," one source revealed.

He was rushed to hospital where he remained up to press time. Superintendent Howard Chambers, commanding officer for the Kingston Western Police Division, confirmed the shooting, but was still awaiting a detailed briefing from his investigators up to late afternoon.

He also confirmed that police personnel who responded to the incident came under heavy gunfire from criminals.

Chambers said additional police personnel were deployed to the west Kingston area yesterday and that steps were being taken to ensure calm "in light of the fact that the person who got shot is Dudus' son."

Mayor of Kingston Dr Angela Brown Burke expressed regret at the incident, indicating that Coke, his aunt and Donovan Samuels, councillor for the Tivoli Gardens Division, were injured. When The Gleaner visited West Kingston after the incident, Samuels was seen wearing a sling on his right arm.

In a news release yesterday, Brown Burke appealed to residents to act responsibly and urged them to remain calm and allow the police to take charge of the situation.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica reported that nomination day activities in other parts of the country were incident-free.

The activities yesterday got under way at 10 a.m. and ended at 2 p.m.

Candidates were nominated for the 228 electoral divisions, while nomination for the mayor of the Municipality of Portmore also took place as they line up for the November 28 municipal council elections.

Both the People's National Party (PNP) and the JLP reported that the full slates of candidates were nominated.

At present, the PNP controls all 13 Municipal Corporations, in addition to the Portmore Municipality.