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Community feud caused shooting rampage at church - Family of dead woman claims she was targeted

Published:Tuesday | December 12, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Police speak with persons at Kingston Public Hospital on Sunday after gunmen turned their weapons on people attending a funeral at King’s Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church.

One woman is claiming that her 20-year-old niece who was killed in a multi-victim shooting incident at a funeral in east Kingston on Sunday was being unfairly targeted.

The shooting took place at King's Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church, located off Windward Road, which left at least two persons dead and another seven nursing gunshot wounds. Two of the seven persons were recommended for surgery.

Sudan Anderson says her relative, Ashley Hopson of a Charles Street address, was subjected for some time to threats from gangsters from another area who previously had had a falling out with one of Hopson's deceased family members.

"There is some friction between Charles Street and Matthews Lane. I think she was targeted because she and three youth stand up and di three a dem get shot as well. We had a family who died sometime ago by the name of Demar James. He was a gangster. Tru dat now, is like dem just target anybody from the family. Ashley was loving, caring and have manners. The only thing people can say is that she act like a boy," Anderson said.

The funeral Hopson was attending was that of Romain White, who was stabbed to death by another man, allegedly over a spot where he sold goods in downtown Kingston, just under a month ago.

'... The wrong place at the wrong time'

The mother of one of the deceased, 35-year-old Delroy Salesman, insists that his death was a simple case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"My son was no target. My son is a hard-working son. Everybody a cry fi him; Chinese, coolie and Negro. To tell you the truth weh God love, him just did deh a di wrong place at the wrong time. Dem did want (to kill) somebody there, suh dem just open up and shot dem. Di car did jus a drive and di shot dem a spray," Salesman's mother, Sonia Ellis, told The Gleaner.

Lorraine Chen of Mayrose Distributors, Salesman's employer, said yesterday that he was like a member of her family and she spoke highly of him.

"He is a very good man. He was reliable and honest. He did everything in the shop; from collection to delivery, and whenever we needed to pack the warehouse. He did every part. He was an asset. It is just like we lost a family. It will be hard for now, but we still have to accept the fact that he is gone."

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com