Attack in Tivoli
Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
Member of parliament for West Kingston, Desmond McKenzie, yesterday implored the police to be relentless in their hunt for the killers of a Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) ex-reservist, who was gunned down in broad daylight in Tivoli Gardens less than 24 hours after Cabinet signalled that it had found favour with establishing a commission of enquiry into the 2010 military incursion in the community.
"I am calling for the police to leave no stone unturned in finding the killers," said McKenzie, who has declared war on criminal elements, whom he accused of wreaking havoc on the troubled constituency since the start of the year.
Joseph 'Jimmy' Lyons, a 54-year-old jeweller who was born, bred and well known in western Kingston, was reportedly reclining in a seat on Bustamante Highway in the community, reading a newspaper, when the gunmen pounced.
The scene was closely monitored by police and soldiers, which triggered a traffic pile-up on nearby Spanish Town Road.
Robbery was ruled out as Lyon's licensed firearm and other valuables were found on his body.
The atmosphere assumed an even more heart-rending spectre as Lyons' son, Joseph Jr, who had rushed to the scene, revealed that yesterday was his birthday.
The young man, a musician by profession who had arrived in the island hours earlier on Monday night from a tour of the United States, had planned to visit his father yesterday, but that was not to be.
SEARCH FOR ANSWERS
Struggling to speak, the younger Lyons said he was mystified as to why his father's life was so brutally snuffed out.
"He is always in West Kingston. He has no enemies that I know of. Why would they do this?" he lamented.
The sentiments were echoed by a close family friend, who rushed to support the grieving son.
The elder Lyons' common-law wife was on the scene but was unable to speak.
Standing in stark irony, about a metre away from the seat on which Lyons' body was still perched, stood a sign which read: 'Welcome to Tivoli Gardens: Love Starts here. Walk, ride and drive with care. Our children are at play.'
The likely implications of the killing were clearly not lost on McKenzie, a councillor for that division for many years before being elected as its member of parliament in December 2011.
"We have come too far for us to lose the gains that we have made," he told The Gleaner. "I call for the community to assist the police in their probe."
Wearing sobering expressions, residents appeared numb, mirroring McKenzie's concerns.
"It is most unfortunate," said Basil Smith. "And to make matters worse, it has come at such a time (when discussions about a commission of enquiry have been heightened)."