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Stabroek News

Gun killings rock Montego Bay
published: Tuesday | September 12, 2006

Nagra Plunkett, Staff Reporter

People's National Party caretaker for North West St. James, Henry McCurdy, comforts Janet Ross whose 19-year-old son, André Turner, was shot and killed in Bottom Pen, Glendevon, St. James, yesterday. - Photo by Adrian Frater


A wave of gun violence over the past 48 hours has rattled the western city of Montego Bay, claiming the lives of three men and injuring four others, and thus putting a damper on recent police reports that the lawmen were collaring crime.

The bloodshed began on Sunday night when gunmen killed 34-year-old shopkeeper Robert 'Monster Ross' Green, and wounded another three, including a 14-year-old, in the volatile Salt Spring community.

The armed thugs also set fire to two cars, one of which was stolen from a taxi operator whom they shot.

Yesterday, a 48-year-old labourer, Owen 'Abba' Miller, was gunned down shortly after 1:00 p.m. along Sun Valley Road in Glendevon. While crime scene detectives were at that location, news came of a murder in nearby Bottom Pen, also in the Glendevon area.

Family feud

The victim was identified as André Turner, 19, originally of a Kingston address. He was reportedly shot in what appeared to be a family feud.

"Ah him own family dem kill him," his mother, Janet Ross, cried. "Ah just January gunman kill him father in Kingston ... It just a start, because mi nah tek mi son death just so."

In an apparent reprisal, the house of a man said to be the shooter in Turner's killing was torched shortly before 6:00 p.m. The four-apartment concrete and wooden structure was partially gutted.

The killings have pushed the number of persons murdered in St. James since the start of the year to 116.

Miller was reportedly walking in the vicinity of the Glendevon Market when a young man clutching a brown paper bag approached him. He was shot twice in the head. No motive has been established for his killing.

"It is very sad; I am wondering what is happening," said businessman Henry McCurdy, People's National Party (PNP) caretaker for North West St. James.

"It is not good for production. Once again people are in fear of leaving their homes. I am asking the relevant authorities to do what they must to get on top of the crime situation."

Last week, gunmen killed three persons and wounded a fourth between Wednesday and Thursday in the communities of Glendevon and Salt Spring.

Area visited by Shields

It was only on Saturday that Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields ended a three-day visit to the Area One Police Division where he met with the St. James police hierarchy to review crime management strategies in the parish.

The rash of killings comes in the wake of positive reports by the police that murders have plunged since January compared with the last year's record homicides of nearly 1,700.

Police data reveal that murders slipped 26 per cent in August compared to the corresponding period last year. Other major crimes have also declined, say the police.

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