Clarendon carnage - Two children killed; Mom tried to protect teen victim from rapists
The mother of 14-year-old Shaniel Bartley, who was yesterday among six persons shot, three fatally, in Race Course, Clarendon, reportedly took the child to her business place hoping to protect her from rapists who are said to be on the prowl in sections of the community.
Less than 24 hours later, in the same parish, even as cops combed this murder scene, a six-year-old boy was shot dead as he slept with his mother and two sisters. This shooting occurred in Farm, not far from the May Pen Police Station.
Early this month, a teenage girl narrowly escaped when she was attacked, not far from yesterday's shooting scene, by a man who was later found by residents and chopped. That man managed to escape his beating, but not before leaving some residents sceptical of other predators in the area.
"That is why the woman carry har pickney beside her here," said a man who was among several gathered at the ill-fated bar following the incident in which Bartley was killed. It reportedly occurred about 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. "Is not like she stay in the bar. Is right here at the front of the restaurant she always sit down, and any little bad word or so, you see she walk out," he said.
"I don't know why them do it, but I feel it for the little girl more than anybody else. Trust me, she was a very good little girl. She never use to stay in the bar. Is just her mother she wait on in the evenings," frowned the man as the onlookers again peered into the Newclear Jerk and Pub, where Bartley's body and that of Amoy Ricketts, 24, were, the night before, sprawled dead amid crates of overturned juices near the rear exit.
Half of the premises served as a bar, while the other half was a food shop. Three gunmen reportedly entered both outlets and opened fire after calling out the bartender, who was peppered with bullets as she tried to flee.
Died en route to hospital
Thirty-three-year-old Randy Ranger, who was also shot, made his way into a taxi and reportedly died en route to hospital, while the other three persons - identified as the teenager's mother, a man called 'Chef', and another man known to the group as 'Kirk' - were hospitalised.
"He was a very good youth. Him was like my hand and my foot. Him do everything for me, and is just one year since him come back from The Bahamas and them kill him," cried Vinnette McFarlane, Ranger's mother. His sisters and grandmother were inconsolable inside their yard yesterday.
Ranger was said to have gone to the premises to purchase chicken and chips when he got caught in the gunfire.
Up to late yesterday afternoon, police were still probing the scene where Ricketts was reportedly serving her first day on the job as bartender. They believe she may have been the main target of the attack.
"We are probing several leads to include flour being replaced for coke in a transaction; and also leads relating to the incident being a reprisal for other crimes," offered Superintendent Vendolyn Cameron-Powell, who yesterday visited the scene and expressed sorrow, especially as the teenager was reportedly the daughter of a policeman from the Clarendon division.
Yesterday, large patches of semi-dried blood, a bottle of pepper sauce, overturned and broken plastic*z chairs, and a pair of abandoned shoes told of the ordeal that transpired inside the usually crowded establishment.
The residents said Ricketts started working at the bar yesterday afternoon after quitting a job at the nearby Infinity Sports Bar in Kemps Hill. Yesterday, residents near that bar were caught by surprise as they could not fathom why "one of the nicest bartenders" was murdered.
... 6-y-o shot as he slept with mother, sisters
As sleuths in Clarendon tried to uncover the motive behind a triple shooting in Race Course on Thursday night, others were busy probing an early-morning gun attack which left another child dead and his mother nursing gunshot wounds.
Residents of Farm, an impoverished and war-torn community in the parish, said six-year-old Timothy Bassaragh was shot and killed as he, his two sisters, and his mother slept inside their home about 6:45 a.m.
The boy was reportedly hit in the throat and head by the gunmen's bullets, which pierced holes through their front door. The mother was also shot in the hand.
Yesterday, resident and relatives of the young boy cried openly as they mourned his death. He had just won a scholarship towards resources for the upcoming school year, they said.
Police who turned up on the scene suspect that the incident may be gang related.