Rose Heights community group apprehends gunman
Adrian Frater, News Editor
A gunman was apprehended by militant members of the Rose Heights Covenant of Peace yesterday morning and two illegal guns and a quantity of ammunition he had in his possession taken from him.
The man, identified only as 'Gilligan', was turned over to the police who were summoned to the area after he was held.
Gilligan, who resides in the community, is an ex-convict who has previously served time in prison on gun-related charges.
According to reports, shortly before midnight on Saturday, residents of Rose Heights heard gunshots being fired in a section of the community. Subsequent investigations by members of the Rose Heights Covenant of Peace - a community group with a mandate to rid the community of lawlessness - led them to Gilligan's house.
During a search of Gilligan's house, the residents claim a scandal bag was found with the two handguns and several rounds of ammunition. He was tied up by the residents, who secured the weapons and ammunition and summoned the police.
"The community is taking a zero-tolerance approach to matters like these," said Pastor Knollis King, who heads the Rose Heights Covenant of Peace. "It is not that we are taking the law into our own hands, we are just taking a proactive approach to bringing peace to the community."
Tired of burying victims
The Rose Heights Covenant of Peace was established just over six months ago at the insistence of King, who said he had become tired of burying the victims of gang violence in the community, which once had 16 murders in a single month in 2006.
"I think I have buried more than 100 young men who have been killed senselessly in my years here in Rose Heights, said King, who heads the Rose Heights Full Gospel Church.
"I have challenged the community to work with me to establish peace and they have responded."
Gilligan was roundly rebuked by members of the community, including his own mother, who described him as 'a total disgrace to me' as he was led from his house to await the arrival of the police on the Rose Heights main road.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Denver Frater has hailed the initiative as a major positive for the community and has promised that the police will be working closely with the community to ensure the desired objective is achieved.
In the just over six months since the formation of the group, the community has witnessed only one murder - a man who was stabbed to death in a domestic dispute.
Rose Heights Covenant of Peace tenets
Under the Rose Heights Covenant of Peace, the following tenets have been established and agreed on by members of the community:
- No shootings
- No murders
- No break-ins
- No robberies
- No child abuse
- Every child must go to school.