Residents say ex-politician, woman were lovers
While the police are tight-lipped about the status of their investigation into the incident in which a former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) caretaker-candidate and his girlfriend were shot dead at the Excitement Plaza in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, on Monday, indications are that it was sparked by a relationship that had turned sour.
According to reports, businessman Warrenton Barham shot 24-year-old Latoya Williamson several times before a policeman, who had intervened, opened fire on him. Both persons were pronounced dead at the scene.
"They were involved in a relationship, but things have not been going well," said a friend of the deceased woman. "I was surprised when I heard that she had gone up to his business place to confront him. It is so sad."
According to reports, Williamson, a trained teacher, who had switched to the hospitality sector, showed up at Barham's Tabletop Restaurant, which he operates with his wife. An argument reportedly developed and the businessman pulled his licensed firearm and shot her several times.
NO NEW INFORMATION
The policeman who intervened ordered the businessman to drop the weapon, but he refused to do so. It is unclear what happened next, but Barham was shot dead.
Yesterday, reports surfaced that the policeman was removed from front-line duty. However, efforts to get confirmation proved futile, as while the police Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said it had no such information, the St Elizabeth police said it was not their policy to comment on an ongoing investigation.
"I will not confirm or deny whether or not the officer has been taken off front-line duty, but what I can tell you is that the matter is under investigation," an officer at the Black River CIB told The Gleaner.
... Social media taking sides
Yesterday, the Independent Commission of Investigations also announced that it had launched a probe into the incident that left former Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) caretaker-candidate Warrenton Barham and his girlfriend, Latoya Williamson, shot dead.
Following the shooting, a large crowd converged on the plaza, with numerous persons recording videos of the bloody bodies and posting them on the Internet. The incident also generated lively chatter on social media, with various persons taking different sides.
It would appear that Barham, who represented the JLP in the Siloah division in North East St Elizabeth in 2007 and 2012, losing on both occasions to Audie Myers, the current councillor, has had a history of pulling his weapon. Two years ago, the police seized his firearm after he allegedly pulled it on a woman. And just last week, another woman (who has not been identified) made a complaint to the Santa Cruz Police Station that Barham had pointed his firearm at her.