Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Hanover bleeding – 21 murders in three months

Published:Sunday | March 26, 2017 | 3:00 AMBryan Miller
Residents of Dias in Hanover gather in the square yesterday morning after a tripple murder in the community Friday night.

Murder and mayhem continued in the once quiet parish of Hanover last Friday night as gunmen struck, leaving three persons dead.

This moved the number of murders in the parish since the start of this year to 21, a staggering increase compared to the seven persons killed in the parish over the corresponding period last year.

The latest victims have been identified as 47-year-old businesswoman Marcia Johnson, otherwise called 'Moya' or 'Fatty'; her common-law husband and business partner, 49-year-old Noel 'Rudy' Mair; and 49-year-old businessman Peter Aitcheson, better known as 'Dude'.

Reports are that Johnson and Mair were at their business place, Blue Star Restaurant and Bar in the Dias square, about 9:30 p.m. last Friday, when three armed men walked in and opened fire at them.

A short time after, more explosions were heard about 100 metres away, where the three men turned their guns on Aitcheson.

The killers then made their escape on foot towards the neighbouring community of Middlesex.

Up to press time, the police had not established a motive for the killings but investigators have ruled out robbery as nothing was taken from the victims or the business establishments.

Yesterday, fearful residents of Dias questioned the reasons for the spate of shootings in the area in recent times.

"They were three of the best persons living in Dias. Peter, all him walk and do is look woman; Rudy was the hands and feet of his parents, who are still alive, and sometimes me think you could lead him with a straw, the type of person he was.

"Marcia was such a nice person, you could approach her with your problems and she would listen, and if she could help, she would help," said a female resident of Dias.

"Me no see the reason why all of this happen, me can't even think why all of this happen," she added.

Divine intervention needed

The residents said Johnson was the sole guardian of her 10-year-old niece, whose father and uncle were murdered in the district over the past two years.

"Right now we need divine intervention inna Jamaica because the crime rate is too much," said the only resident who was willing to speak with our news team.

In the meantime, mayor of Lucea and chairman of the Hanover Municipal Corporation, Sheridan Samuels, said he was saddened by the latest killings.

According to Samuels, something need to be done to get to determine the cause of the murder and mayhem taking place in Hanover.

"We have a new security manager in the parish, in the person of Deputy Superintendent Sharon Beeput, and I was hoping that there would be a change in what was taking place before, but they have removed the soldiers. I have not seen any soldier for the past couple of weeks," lamented Samuels.

"Hanover used to be the safest parish in the island. It's a disgrace to see the state of the parish now," added Samuels.