Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Another murder rocks troubled Hanover

Published:Friday | June 16, 2017 | 6:00 AMBryan Miller

WESTERN BUREAU:

Blood continued to flow with impunity in crime-plagued Hanover as rampaging gunmen snuffed out yet another life on Wednesday night. The latest killing brings to five the number of persons brutally murdered in the parish since Tuesday.

Like the Tuesday morning incident in Mt Carmel district, where there was a quadruple murder, residents of Malcolm Heights in Lucea had no choice but to cower in fear as gangsters invaded their community and shot and killed 71-year-old butcher Joel Malcolm and burnt down a house.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m., the elderly butcher was at home watching television with his wife, his six-year-old granddaughter, and his 63-year-old neighbour, Hurfa Johnson, when a young man, who lives a few yards away, came to buy ice.

On leaving, the young man was confronted by three gunmen, who opened fired on him. He fled in the direction of Malcolm's house.

SECOND ATTEMPT

On hearing what was unfolding outside, the elderly man reportedly tried to lock a bathroom door, which is very close to the back door of his house. Apparently believing that their prey, who had eluded them, had run into Malcolm's house, they opened fire on the butcher, killing him on the spot.

The killers then kicked down the door to the house and sprayed bullets inside, hitting Johnson. She was subsequently taken to hospital, where she was admitted in a serious condition.

Following the shooting, the gunmen turned their attention to their intended target's house, setting it on fire. It was completely destroyed. On the arrival of the police, they found several nine-millimetre spent shells in and around Malcolm's yard.

According to reports, the incident marked the second attempt on the life of the owner of the house. In a previous incident, another house in which he lived was burnt to the ground.

"Mi cut up ova wha happen because the elder dead, and the elder a man wha no involve inna people business, so me feel very cut up bout it," a young male resident told The Gleaner.

Hanover, which was once the nation's most peaceful parish, has had 37 murders since the start of the year.