Adrian Frater, News Editor
Several residents from Branch Hall in Rose Heights, St James, are now counting their lucky stars as though five persons were shot and injured when marauding gunmen invaded a party in the area on Sunday night, there were no lives lost.
According to reports, the party was in full swing about 2 a.m. when the gunmen struck, bringing the fun and frolic to a screeching halt as they sprayed bullets with impunity at patrons.
"All now I can't believe that nobody got killed," said a patron who escaped unhurt. "We were taken by surprise because the community is at peace."
When the shooting subsided, it was discovered that five persons were shot and injured. They were quickly rushed to the nearby Cornwall Regional Hospital, where they were all admitted.
"Thankfully none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening," a community member told The Gleaner shortly after midday yesterday. "The word from the hospital is quite encouraging and we are hoping it will stay that way."
Spent shells retrieved
The police, who were early on the scene, reportedly retrieved spent shells from various weapons. They have since called for residents to assist them in their investigations.
Sunday night's shooting came as a big surprise to residents, who were experiencing relative peace on account of the Rose Heights Covenant of Peace - a pact signed between residents of the community and Pastor Knollis King, of the Rose Heights Full Gospel Church - to keep the community violence-free.
Under the Rose Heights Covenant of Peace, the following tenets have been established and agreed on by members of the community:
"We are trying to find out where this (the shooting) is coming from because there are no feuds taking place in the community. We no longer have active gangs here," said King, who is also councillor for the area. "We will be renewing our efforts to claim peace for the residents as we do not intend to have gunmen roaming the area again."