Wed | Aug 12, 2020

16-y-o shot dead in Kingston West

Published:Monday | July 6, 2020 | 12:28 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Jacqueline Dunkley is overcome with grief as she recalls getting news of the fatal shooting of her son, Andre Dixon, on  Friday, July 4, 2020, at the intersection of Beckford and Pechon streets in downtown Kingston. Dixon would have celebrated his 17th bir
Jacqueline Dunkley is overcome with grief as she recalls getting news of the fatal shooting of her son, Andre Dixon, on Friday, July 4, 2020, at the intersection of Beckford and Pechon streets in downtown Kingston. Dixon would have celebrated his 17th birthday on July 26.

A grief-stricken Jacqueline Dunkley says she is bewildered as to why her 16-year-old son, André Dixon, was brutally murdered by gunmen Friday night at the corner of Pechon and Beckford streets in downtown Kingston.

André would have turned 17 later this month.

According to the police’s Corporate Communications Unit, both Dixon and a vendor were hit when two gunmen pounced on them, opening fire about half an hour after the nationwide 11 p.m. curfew took effect. He was pronounced dead at hospital and the woman admitted for treatment.

Kingston Western, a compact, high-density area, is the seventh-bloodiest police division in Jamaica for 2020 in raw numbers but has recorded the second-highest rise in murders islandwide. Several children, including an eight-year-old girl, have been slain in ongoing gang violence this year.

Police data show that murders have climbed from 31 to 50, or by 61 per cent, year-on-year up to June 27, with shootings rising by 37 per cent from 35 to 48.

A state of emergency, imposed in the division on June 14, has not staunched the bloodletting.

Dunkley told The Gleaner that had André not gone to the corner after an argument at their Beckford Street tenement home, he would still be alive today and preparing to sit Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations this month at Vauxhall High School, where he was a student up to the time of his death.

The teenager had been living with his dad recently but had returned to Beckford Street to prepare for his exams.

“The argument inna di yard had nothing to do with the shooting. Dem siddung and a talk not knowing seh man a come. Him did out deh like how di rest a youth dem woulda normally out deh,” his mother said, her face a portrait of pain and grief.

“Him get shot inna him head and drop pon him back, and den dem go over him and shoot him up.”

Dunkley recalled how her son, a cadet at Vauxhall, took his last glance at her while she hugged him before he became totally unresponsive.

André has been described as “a normal student” and “a social person” who got along with his classmates and teachers.

“They at the school try to comfort me the best way possible. André was easy fi get along with. Me waa find out for myself, why somebody would really want to slaughter my child in this brutal way? If he was in gun violence, it wouldn’t hurt me so much. I would say, ‘At least you got your pay for what you did,’” Dunkley said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com