Wed | Feb 19, 2020

Guard killed in Westmoreland

Published:Saturday | January 18, 2020 | 12:29 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer


A security guard has become the fourth murder victim in Westmoreland for 2020.

He is 34-year-old security guard Owayne Martin Grant, of Pleasant Park in George’s Plain, who was shot dead in his community on Thursday night.

“We have launched a full investigation into this latest killing and hope to make a breakthrough in short order,” said Superintendent Carlos Russell, assistant commander for the Westmoreland police.

“This appears to be a random killing, as the Frome police area has been relatively quiet.”

According to Russell, a murder in George’s Plain has come as a surprise, even though it adjoins the volatile Grange Hill, which has been a hotbed of gang violence in recent years.

“We have been placing most of our focus on the neighbouring Grange Hill community, which has seen several murders and other gang-related activities in recent years,” said Russell.

While Grant is not originally from Pleasant Park, he had integrated himself well in the community and was seen as a hard-working man who was easy to get along with, residents say.

“He was a cool brethren, who has never been involved in wrongdoings since him come live a west,” a resident told The Gleaner. “He is originally from Kingston but he has been living here for quite a long time. He has been with the security company for quite a while.”

According to the resident, who requested anonymity because of safety concerns, he is not aware of Grant having enemies and was shocked at his murder.

According to reports, shortly after 7:30 p.m., Grant, who was employed to Quest Security Company, was on his way home from work when he was ambushed and shot. He suffered bullet wounds to his upper body.

The police, who were summoned to the location, rushed Grant to the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Last year, Westmoreland recorded 89 murders, 53 fewer than the 142 recorded in 2018. The four murders so far this year put the parish ahead of all the other western parishes.