Tue | Jun 15, 2021

Fleet Street nightmare - Eleven-year-old 'Angel' killed in a hail of bullets

Published:Friday | June 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Inspector Jacqueline Ricketts, sub-officer in charge of Gold Street Police Station, comforts Julia Hird (centre), mother of 11-year-old Taysha Hughes, yesterday. Taysha was shot dead near her home on Fleet Street, Central Kingston, on Thursday night.
A picture of grief as Inspector Jacqueline Ricketts, sub-officer in charge of Gold Street Police Station, as well as Clive Campbell, Jamaica Constabulary Force chaplain, try to comfort Julia Hird (centre), mother of 11-year-old Taysha Hughes, and other residents.
Residents share the deep and cruel pain of Julia Hird (centre), whose child was shot dead Thursday night.
Taysha Hughes, 11, was shot dead when masked gunmen sprayed Fleet Street, downtown Kingston, with bullets on Thursday night.

Residents of Fleet Street in downtown Kingston are still reeling from Thursday night's horrific gun attack that ended the life of 11-year-old Taysha Hughes, who was shot in the chest as masked gunmen sprayed a group of young men with bullets.

Elsewhere, the Kingston Central Police have launched an investigation into another incident in which a 12-year-old boy was also shot and injured and a man identified as Nicolas Malcolm killed.


Suspected attacker killed


The police say that one of the suspected attackers in the Fleet Street incident, 26-year-old Richard Allen, otherwise called 'Finey', of Gold Street, was also shot and killed by his cronies during that incident.

A bloodstained blue plastic cup belonging to young Taysha remained as a stark reminder of the horrors that visited the community.

"Dem kill Angel! Dem kill me Angel!" her mother, Julia Hird, cried.

"Why unnuh come kill me Angel? She is the only thing me have. A she me come home to every night and day ... Lord, oh God!" she said in between expletives at the shock of her daughter's murder.

Uncontrollable grief was also evident on the faces of residents, who wept openly as the police tried to get a handle on the incident, urging them to hold hands in prayers, led by police chaplain Clive Campbell and Inspector Jacqueline Ricketts, the sub-officer in charge of the Gold Street Police Station.

Raymond Walker, a neighbour, told The Gleaner that he was coming from a church service when the air was shattered by a barrage of gunshots. He said that before he realised what was happening, he heard cries for help.

"I was helpless. The shots were firing and me see her just bend over in the corner. When I rushed over, I saw she was bleeding. She was shot in the chest, right near her gate," said Walker.

'This is what your silence is doing'

The official police report is that the incident took place about 10:30 p.m. It stated that three men, along with young Hughes, were standing along the roadway when masked gunmen approached them and opened fire.

The police were summoned and on their arrival, the five injured persons, to include Allen, who was wearing a mask, were seen.

They were all taken to the hospital, where Taysha and Allen were pronounced dead, while the other three men were admitted in stable condition.

Said Ricketts: "I am urging you all as residents to tell the police whatever you know whenever a wrong is being done or is being planned, so we can put a stop these murders.

"Today, we have lost a little girl. This is what your silence is doing. Look around you. It's all of you who are feeling the pain," the inspector said.

Nearly 80 people have been murdered across the island since the start of June. This is at an incredulous rate of nearly seven killings per day, according to police a report.