Sun | May 26, 2019

No ‘British’ link in Sunday’s gunfire - St Andrew South police commander says division experiencing several violent conflicts

Published:Tuesday | April 2, 2019 | 12:19 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer

Although confirming reports of gunfire in the St Andrew South police division on Sunday, acting commanding officer, Superintendent Aaron Fletcher, told The Gleaner yesterday that he is not “in a position to attribute it to the killing of ‘Oney British’” despite speculation on social media sites.

Followers of The Gleaner’s social media pages have reported hearing several shots in the Waltham Park Road area on Sunday, which Fletcher attributed to “trending conflicts”.

‘Oney British’, born Alphanso Harriot, was killed by unknown assailants travelling on a motorcycle while driving his motor car along Mountain View Avenue last Saturday evening.

Harriot’s killing marks the third killing of high-ranking persons believed to be linked to the popular ‘British Link Up Crew’ in less than three years. In late February, Owen ‘Roy Fowl’ Clarke, who reportedly started the crew, was killed in Kencot, St Andrew, while at a party. In October 2017, Valbert Mawaldie Harley was killed by gunmen while he and others were travelling in a motor car along Mountain View Avenue on his way from the Home Circuit Court.

“The division has been going through a period of spiking criminal activities, so we are not in a position to attribute Sunday’s shootings to the killing of ‘Oney British’. We have a number of trending conflicts in the division, both reported and unreported,” Fletcher said.

“I am not in a position to comment on what is happening with the British Link Up, but all of those persons have connections to the St Andrew South police division, from where they originate and always maintained some level of presence in the space. I can’t speak to what is happening with the [killing of the] crew members. We believe it was a continuation of a conflict between Mahoe Drive and York Avenue. We can’t attribute it as having anything to do with ‘Oney British’, ‘Roy Fowl’ or ‘Waldie’ specifically,” he added

As it relates to the ongoing conflict within the division, Fletcher said while there were no reports of injuries on Sunday, his team is monitoring the situation.

He named Lionel Johnson, otherwise known as ‘Linie’, as a person of interest in a recent matter now being investigated.

“For now, I know we have interest in that young man. He resides on the York Avenue side of things and he features on our wanted/persons of interest list and we would be delighted to have him attend in the presence of his attorney,” Fletcher said.

Despite an increase in shootings, Fletcher said notwithstanding the number of conflicts, the division has seen a reduction in murders, compared with this similar period last year.

“We can’t necessarily say the same for shootings. Generally, we have seen a trend downward of major crimes recorded,” he said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com