Murder in Guy's Hill
A resident in the rural St Catherine community of Guy's Hill yesterday recounted hearing the harrowing screams of her neighbours after heavily armed gunmen invaded their homes and set them on fire before spraying the houses with bullets.
Police and residents say when the horrific act ended, the body of 47-year-old Allan Whittock, also known as 'Vin', was found with gunshot wounds, and 23 persons were left homeless in the small community of Cocking Hill.
"We heard the neighbours screaming for help and we couldn't do anything. We heard the explosions. We heard them crying for help, and I got fraid," one resident told The Gleaner.
Yesterday, the Police High Command announced that it had launched a high-level investigation into the incident, which has left some residents terrified.
"We are not used to it. We are not used to gunshots," one resident said.
The police report that shortly after midnight, gunmen invaded two houses on the same property in Cocking Hill district and removed the children before dousing the adults and buildings with a combustive substance and setting them ablaze.
Before escaping, the police say the men sprayed the house with bullets.
Firefighters from the Linstead Fire Station responded and conducted cooling-down operations. Losses have been estimated at close to $7 million.
One resident blasted the Guy's Hill police - who she estimated were only five minutes from where the incident occurred - for what she claimed was their slow response. "They said only one person was at the station and they had no vehicle," she told The Gleaner.
"If they heard a boom box put up, dem come lock it off, but when dem fi help people and rescue people, dem fraid. Dem no waan come serve, protect, and reassure," she continued.