Fri | Dec 1, 2023

St James records five murders in six days

Published:Wednesday | August 28, 2019 | 12:45 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

St James is again bleeding profusely, as over the past six days, the parish, which is now under a state of emergency (SOE), has recorded five murders, casting an eerie shadow over the ability of the security forces to contain the lawlessness.

The latest killings bring to 89 the number of persons murdered in the parish since the start of the year. The figure is just 14 short of the 103 persons killed in the parish for the entire 2018, when there was also an SOE, which was sparked by a record 335 murders in 2017.

“This crime monster is seriously testing our resolve, but we are committed to the task … . We are arresting violence producers and seizing illegal guns, but we still keep getting these murders,” a senior police officer told The Gleaner yesterday. “I can’t say we are not trying our best. It is just a difficult task.”

In the latest incident, which occurred in the Anchovy community on Monday, two men were shot and killed at about 9:30 p.m. The victims – 37-year-old taxi operator Christopher Hamilton and an unidentified man – were peppered with bullets by armed thugs as they stopped at a shop to purchase items.

An eyewitness told The Gleaner that the victims were attacked as they exited the shop along the Lethe to Anchovy main road, where they purchased food.

“Mi boss, mi haffi run fi cover when mi see di two man dem start buss shot,” the eyewitness told The Gleaner. “Mi always hear ‘bout man a kill man, but a di first mi ever witness such a thing.”

While the police are still trying to figure out who committed the Anchovy double murder, they have been making progress in their investigations into some of the other murders.

“We are making good headway in our investigations of some of these killing. In the case of Ishan Roswell, who was stabbed to death by a bar operator on Union Street in downtown Montego Bay last weekend, we have arrested and charged 38-year-old Jeneise Flowers for that offence,” a police investigator told The Gleaner yesterday.

“We are also making steady headway in another shooting incident in the Roehampton community, which occurred shortly after the double murder in Anchovy,” the policeman added.

The 89 murders in St James this year is significantly higher than the 56 persons murdered over the corresponding period last year.