Fear grips Red Hills Road - Gangsters from Park and 100 lanes renew deadly rivalry
After almost two years of relative peace, long-time rivals in Park Lane and 100 Lane off Red Hills Road in St Andrew have resumed their feud, leaving innocent residents fearful and looking to flee.
The deadly violence resumed last Tuesday when 37-year-old Hafia Fowles, said to be the common-law wife of an incarcerated don, was fatally shot by gunmen in 100 Lane.
That killing was said to be because some residents of the lane were celebrating the death of a Park Lane strongman who was fatally shot by the police just over one week ago.
The police immediately imposed a curfew in the area last Wednesday amid reports of planned reprisals for Fowles' death. The curfew was lifted Friday evening, but the police have maintained a strong presence in the area.
But that was not enough to stop the gunmen who struck close to the entrance of Park Lane on Saturday evening.
When the shooting ended, it was discovered that six persons, including a woman, had been shot. They were taken to hospital, where two persons died while undergoing treatment.
The police have identified one of the dead as 65-year-old maintenance worker Errol Scott, while residents told The Gleaner that the other man was Shaun Miller, a resident of a neighbouring community who had gone to Park Lane to visit a friend.
When The Gleaner visited 100 Lane yesterday, the few residents on the street scampered away from our news team, refusing to speak on the latest round of violence.
Nearby, several persons were seen on the streets discussing the attack on their community.
"People over Park Lane live good. The people dem over there (100 Lane) look like they don't like unity. They just want the war thing, but Father God nah sleep, Him a watch," said an elderly Park Lane resident.
Lee Clarke, councillor for the Whitehall division, which includes Park and 100 lanes, also argued that the residents of Park Lane are not to be blamed for the violence.
"The police followed a man who was obviously on their list. That person ran from 100 Lane over to Park Lane, and the police shot the man dead. The lady from 100 Lane was killed allegedly for being an informer," said Clarke.
"Nobody from Park Lane is going to go over to 100 Lane in middle day and kill somebody. Park Lane is a community that clings together. Park Lane is not in any war with 100 Lane, and the police better keep it that way.
"There has been a threat from 100 Lane to Park Lane. People in Park Lane are depending on the police not only to keep the place quiet, but to always be on the lookout," added Clarke.
Don't blame the cops
A senior police source in the St Andrew North Division, which includes Red Hills Road, yesterday claimed that the six persons shot near the entrance of Park Lane Saturday evening were part of a group that was urged to leave the streets by members of a police party before the shooting happened.
"The police had been going through the area telling them to come off the road. When the police told them to come off the road Saturday evening, as soon as the police left that spot, the people came back, saying that they are not a part of the curfew because where they were was across the street from the areas under curfew," said the police source, who asked not to be named.
"They were told that there should be no gathering. The police can't stay at one spot whole day. The police don't have any control over certain things. The curfew was extended to Sunday (yesterday) at 6 p.m., but I don't know if it will be extended," he added.
The Police High Command later indicated that the curfew had been extended for a further 48 hours.