Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Two more murders in St James, tally now at 132

Published:Friday | June 23, 2017 | 6:00 AMAdrian Frater
Clarke

Western Bureau:

St James's reign of murderous terror claimed two more victims on Wednesday night as masked thugs, sporting assault rifles, struck in Providence Heights, the community adjoining Flanker, killing two persons and injuring six others.

The two persons who were killed have been identified as 25-year-old Tevin Campbell, a popular community footballer; and 24-year-old Oneal Gibbs, both of Providence Heights addresses. Their deaths brings to 132 the number of persons murdered in the parish since the start of the year.

"The biggest miracle to me is how more persons were not killed. It was heavy gunfire for several minutes, and there were several persons at the location," a resident, who visited the scene shortly after the shooting, told The Gleaner. "We don't have to die to go to hell again. We are already living in hell here in St James."

According to reports, at approximately 8:30 p.m., a group of persons were standing at a shop in the community when two masked men emerged from the shadows and opened indiscriminate gunfire, causing mass panic as those who could, fled in all directions.

"When we came out after the shooting, several persons were on the ground. Some were still and others were bawling," said the resident. "Right away, we realised that two persons were dead and that the other had gunshot wounds."

Despite the fears that the 'shottas', who had returned to the shadows might re-emerge, the residents alerted the police and rushed the injured persons to the hospital.

Ongoing lawlessness major source of worry

In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Assistant Commissioner of Police Warren Clarke, commanding officer for Area One (St James, Hanover, Westmoreland, and Trelawny), said that the ongoing lawlessness remained a major source of concern, especially the indiscriminate shootings.

"Some of these men (the killers) are merciless. If their intended target is in a group of innocent persons, they will just open fire at the entire group," he said. "We are in the process of rolling out a strategy across the region in which we will be targeting the major violence producers. The parts of the plans that can be made public will be released shortly."

adrian.frater@gleanerjm.com