Six-year-old and siblings ran for their lives as mother is killed - Crime takes centrestage at Clarendon Municipal Corporation meeting
Escalating crime in Clarendon and the killing of People's National Party caretaker Carol Ebanks and her 20-year-old son, Jevon Myles, saw a motion for the suspension of the standing order of the municipal corporation in the parish to focus on the matter.
The meeting was told that Ebanks' children, including her six-year-old, had to flee for their lives and hid in bushes.
Friend of the deceased former mayor Scean Barnswell, hit out strongly against what is taking place in the parish as he said that in November alone, 21 murders took place.
Declaring that the parish was left to the mercy of gunmen, Barnswell said, "... the time has come for Clarendon not only to be dubbed the second-highest murder parish, but I need to hear where ZOSO (zones of special operations) is now implemented and [to have one] put inside this parish."
Barnswell lamented the exposure of Ebanks' children - the youngest being six years old - to the horror that took place and having to listen to their mother's screams as they hid in the bushes.
"The mother was shot while locking up [her grocery shop] and the children had to be running for their lives. It must be hard listening to the mother crying for her life as the last gunshot [was fired]. You tell me now how that six-year-old will feel every time she wakes up asking for her mother and can't see her and nobody can tell her where her mother gone," said Barnswell.
"We need to talk about the ripple effect and the scars that it leaves on the minds of our children," he said, adding that crime now, was not a normal situation.
Barnwell also made the call for the police to establish an elite squad or a special force to deal with crime in the community.
Taxi operator murdered same night
Councillor Milton Brown said yesterday that the solution to crime was not solely one for the police.
"It's my view that the fight against crime really rests with us the citizens," he said, pointing out that there is hardly a crime committed that only one person knows about.
He said that where justice is delayed, it is denied, alluding to the long wait for perpetrators to be brought to trial.
"The prosecution takes so long that witnesses either migrate, died, or some other thing happen to them, and we never get to the stage where justice is really served."
Brown said, "It will take the necessary social interventions, all citizens on board, and the police to find a way for citizens to have total trust in them."
Councillor Anthony O'Conner said that crime and violence were affecting the parish in a negative way. "This is something that is touching the heart and soul of the parish," he said as he pointed out that the same night the caretaker was killed, a taxi man was also murdered in Crooked River.
Ebanks, the PNP caretaker for May Pen East, was shot and killed along with her son Jevon Myles late Wednesday night.
No motive has been established for the killing as yet.