Noel Thompson, Freelance Writer
A Jamaica Defence Force soldier attempts to comfort Sherine Allen as she mourns the death of her relatives, Cecil and Pauline Spence, of Flankers, who were murdered by gunmen at their home yesterday. - Noel Thompson/Freelance Photographer
Anger, shock and emotion came to a boil in Seaview Heights in Flankers yesterday when residents woke to hear that three persons had been shot, two fatally.
Family members and residents could not come to terms with the news that Cecil 'Jimmy' Spence, 49, and his wife, Pauline 'Yvonne' Spence, 43, had been murdered by men armed with AK-47 rifles.
The other victim was identified as Roy Forbes, alias 'Paw Yow', 35, a member of the Overseas Work Programme who resides at Pele Drive, a short distance from the Spences' residence.
Forbes was shot twice in the face and once in the head. Doctors at the Cornwall Regional Hospital were battling to save his life yesterday.
He was scheduled to leave for Massachusetts at 9:00 a.m., but was shot at his gate around 4:45 a.m. while returning from the dancehall queen contest in downtown Montego Bay.
Blood was plastered all over the Spences' house and a pool of blood on the veranda told the story of Mr. Spence running for his life from the house before being cut down by a hail of bullets after his assailants realised the grille gate had been padlocked.
The ordeal all happened in full view of Mr. Spence's three-year-old daughter, who was being caredfor by his wife. The infant was with the couple at the time of the incident, as their teenage son was attending the dancehall queen competition. The child was removed from the house by a neighbour at daybreak.
When investigators and residents arrived at the crime scene some time after the incident, Mr. Spence's bullet-riddled body was found lying face down on the veranda, while his wife's body was discovered on the couple's bed.
Their daughter, Shanice Spence, cried uncontrollably as the bodies were removed from the house. She was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Police reports are that, about 5:20 a.m., the couple was asleep when men armed with AK-47 rifles kicked off a rear door leading to the kitchen and shot them dead.
Crime sleuths could not ascertain any motive for the shooting. It is suspected that the couple's murder may have been a reprisal.
But some residents discredited that argument and said they believed it was politically motivated. One eyewitness said four gunmen wearing orange T-shirts were seen shooting Forbes and accused them of killing the Spences.
That section of the community reportedly supports the Jamaica Labour Party.