Gangland-style murder - Daytime shoot-out creates panic in MoBay, frightened motorists abandon vehicles
A section of downtown Montego Bay, St James, was transformed into a shooting gallery shortly after 11:30 a.m. yesterday, as heavily armed thugs brandishing high-powered weapons assassinated a man along the heavily traversed Queen's Drive. He was on his way from the Montego Bay Parish Court, .
"While we don't have all the details at this time, we can confirm that the man who was killed is Stephen Elvis Malcolm of a Canterbury address in Montego Bay," said Senior Superintendent of Police Marlon Nesbeth, the commanding officer for St James. "We also know that he was before the court on gun-related charges."
According to reports, shortly after being granted a bail extension at the court building, the 24-year-old Malcolm entered a car which drove towards the top of Howard Cooke Boulevard. After going through the traffic light at the entrance to Queen's Drive, in proximity to the Mt Alvernia Preparatory School, two cars reportedly blocked the path of the car in which he was travelling.
"Some man with long guns (believed to be AK47s and M16s) jump out a de two car dem and turn on fire pon the other car. Other people jump out dem car and start run, some even crash. A whole heap a things gwaan," said a woman who claimed to witness the incident. "The men dem den jump back inna dem cars and drive weh."
In the aftermath of the shooting, there were significant traffic pile-ups all over the city, especially in and around Queen's Drive.
"I saw the whole thing," said a company executive who asked not to be named. "It was scary as hell. It was like I was watching a movie, only that it was real. It is the first time I have ever witnessed anything like this. Even when it was over, I was still trembling."
According to other eyewitnesses, following the shooting, relatives of the slain man, who were still outside the courthouse, which is less than 100 yards from where the incident took place, rushed to the scene and placed Malcolm in a vehicle which sped off in the direction of the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
"Is a dead man dem pick up. Shot tek him all over him body," said another eyewitness. "A him dem come fah, no doubt about it."
Malcolm's death, which lifts the murder count in St James to 168 since the start of the year, comes ahead of a new anti-crime plan that the St James Police hierarchy is planning to roll out shortly.
"We are planning to roll out a new crime-fighting plan any day now because we are deeply concerned about the crime situation," said Nesbeth. "While things are not looking good at this time, we have been getting some successes in terms of arresting wanted men and seizing illegal weapons."