More bloodletting in MoBay - Three killed in Charles Gordon Market
Montego Bay's unenviable reputation as a bloody city continued to grow last Friday night when three men were shot dead and another shot and seriously injured when a group of gunmen ambushed them in a shop at the Charles Gordon Market.
The dead men were identified as 39-year-old shopkeeper Phillip Binns, also know as 'Banner', of Hurlock in Granville; 25-year-old higgler Gregory Holder, otherwise called 'One', of Dumfries; and 32-year-old higgler Hanson Chambers, otherwise called 'Oniel' or 'Bleechy', of Summer Hill, all in St James.
The identity of the injured man was not released by the police up to press time.
According to the police, shortly after 9 p.m. a number of men were in the shop when men armed with handguns barged in and opened fire, hitting the four men.
"The market truck just drop me off and I was packing up my goods when I heard the explosions and saw people running in all directions, so I ran too," said a vendor. "I don't even want to talk about it because you don't know who is who in this market and who they are connected to."
"This is like a daily routine in St James, almost every single day we have a shooting Ö the murder count is now over 60 for the year," said a policeman, who asked not to be identified.
"INDECOM wants us to treat criminals with kid gloves but you can see how these criminals dealing with other people - no mercy," added the cop.
Last year, St James had a record 212 murders, but at a recent mini-Gleaner Editor's Forum, the parish's commanding officer, Senior Superintendent of Police Steve McGregor, said based on the support and cooperation the police are now getting, he was expecting the murder figure to fall below 150 this year.
"I am confident, without fear of contradiction, that we're not going to pass 150 murders in St James this year - it cannot happen, because of the foundation (that) we laid last year coming into this year," said McGregor.
He argued that the police were making significant inroads in their bid to rein in lawlessness.
"We took over 54 guns off the streets last year and we solved 112 murders. All that was as a result of the connection we are making with communities - the people have started to trust us - the people have started to believe in us so the foundation is there to finally fix the problem," said McGregor.