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Shooting near Parliament triggers security concerns

Published:Wednesday | July 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
The police yellow tape at the scene of a shooting on Beeston Street, literally on the steps of Gordon House, the nation’s parliament building.

The impunity with which criminals carry out their unlawful acts appears to have been on full display yesterday a few metres across from Gordon House - the seat of Jamaica's legislature - where a gunman reportedly shot and injured a man at the corner of Duke and Beeston streets then made good his escape along the busy morning thoroughfare along Duke Street.

Reports are that the injured man has been treated and remains in hospital.

According to the police, a man was standing near the corner of Beeston and Duke streets in downtown Kingston when a gunman approached and opened fire, hitting him before escaping on foot.


Disregard for law


Lawmaker Mikael Phillips, who attended a meeting of Parliament's Public Admini-

stration and Appropriations Committee yesterday morning, said that the incident, which occurred in the vicinity of "the highest court of the land", showed a blatant disrespect for public institutions and a disregard for the law.

"Crime is everybody's business, and when I was told of what happened in the vicinity of Parliament, not that the safety of parliamentarians is at risk, I think that the safety of every Jamaican is at risk because when it happened, there were staff coming into Parliament at the same time."

Removing his parliamentary hat, Phillips said: "As a Jamaican, I am afraid, not only for myself, but for my children and other persons."

"We saw a shooting in afternoon traffic on Ruthven Road of a businessman. If that can happen there, (if) it can happen right in front of our Parliament, then what would stop it from happening at King's House or Jamaica House or even at our schools while in session?" Phillips questioned.

The incident referred to by Phillips was the murder of Corporate Area businessman Richard Ramdial earlier this month, which police surmise may have been a contract killing.