New fears gripping Flanker - Alleged gangsters released from jail
Residents of Flanker in St James are cowering in fear following the release of two so-called hot steppers from police custody and their immediate implication in one murder and a string of shootings in the volatile community.
A police source familiar with the happenings on the ground in Flanker, where a murderous feud is raging between heavily armed gangsters from Central Avenue (Rifle Lane) and Hog City (Green Dot), told The Gleaner that things are poised to intensify with the two recently released men back on the streets.
"The residents are very worried, as the shootings are now happening around the clock, and with these two men back in the community, things are poised to get worse before the situation, hopefully, gets better," the lawman told The Gleaner. "We are maintaining a strong police-military presence in the community, but because of its layout, Flanker is very difficult to police."
This past Sunday, which would normally see the older folks going to church in the morning and the younger ones engaging in football games at the community's playing field, it was all chaos, as shortly after 10 a.m., heavily armed men invaded Hog City and shot and killed 22-year-old Sherece 'Dahlia' Martin, whose boyfriend was recently murdered in the community.
"Dem kill her man and she run weh go a Kingston," a resident told The Gleaner. "Now she come back fi help wid funeral arrangements and dem kill her."
'We are living in a failed state'
Based on information, in some of the volatile communities in St James, hudlums are now targeting the female relatives of their enemies, especially gangsters who are elusive.
"Dem a shoot dem enemies' woman, mother and sister fi pull dem out. When a man family get shot up, him a go defend it," said another resident. "Most a di woman dem weh a get shot innocent. It is just dat dem have gangster family or friend."
Within recent weeks, at least eight women have been murdered by gunmen in shooting incidents in St James. In two of the incidents, the acts were so brazen that they caused major public outcry.
In the first incident, which came in the aftermath of the killing of notorious gangster Omar 'King Evil' Lewis last month, and two women, 41-year-old Cleopatra 'Keisha' Fletcher, a popular nail technician, and her 52-year-old customer, Dawnette Shettleworth.
In the second double murder, Ann-Marie Johnson, 44, and her 24-year-old daughter Shantoy McKenzie, of Cambridge, were allegedly murdered by members of the Ryan 'Ratty' Peterkin gang, after they complained about the gangsters stealing their chickens and goats.
"We are living in a failed state," lay preacher Stanley Smith told The Gleaner yesterday. "Anywhere you see people killing women and children, it is a sign that the devil is in control."