Even as preliminary investigations have identified a link between the illicit lottery scam in St James and Wednesday night's double killings, residents of Maroon Town in south St James are calling for more stringent measures to safeguard their community.
According to the residents, the double murder of Easton 'Bryan' Chambers and his pregnant common-law wife, Shantel Davis, are among the gun crimes that have overridden the rural area in recent times.
"We need a police post in the community because Springmount (station) is too far from us. By the time police come, whoever do anything long gone," said Winston Coote who said he was being brave by allowing his name to be used. "Things are getting out of hand and we not getting any help to address the problems. It is time for soldiers to move in."
It is understood that there has been a series of armed robberies and shootings - the most recent of which took place on Sunday night in Brown's Town, near Maroon Town. That incident left two persons hospitalised with gunshot wounds. A week earlier, a man was shot in the hand in the nearby Shaw Castle community.
There are also reports that a medical doctor had to abandon his years of practice in the area after he was robbed at his place of business by armed men.
Checks revealed that a parcel of land located near the Vaughnsfield Rural Agricultural Development Authority office has long been earmarked for a police station.
Another resident told The Gleaner that while the police have been locking down the community by 9 p.m., thus limiting entertainment and social activities, the move is also facilitating the actions of criminals.
"When everyone inside their homes, the criminals move about without anyone seeing them," one man stated. "We need urgent attention to the crime problem here in Maroon Town."
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington reportedly visited the community of Granville where Alvin Reid and Ashmarie Plummer were also gunned down.
"There are clear indications that the murders last night were done by members of gangs involved in the lotto scam. Our investigators were on the ground from early collecting statements and trying to put the pieces together," said Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkiss, officer in charge of the Area One Police.
Watkiss also appealed for persons with information to call the police at 119, Kingfish 811 and Crime Stop 311.