8 murders in 48 hours - Gunmen terrorise St Catherine North
A man in Thompson Pen, Spanish Town, was held at gunpoint on Monday night and ordered to summon his wife, Janice Ellison-Reid, who was then sprayed with bullets while their children barricaded themselves in a room.
The decomposing body of 68-year-old Elijah Griffiths was discovered in bushes in Kitson Town on Monday, the head partially severed.
And on Brunswick Avenue, 22-year-old Kaceem Angus was killed outside a bar, his eyes blown out.
The macabre trail of blood and gore marked a morbid 48 hours with eight slayings in St Catherine North, the second bloodiest police division in Jamaica in crude numbers.
Ellison-Reid, 48, was killed at her home on Old Road in Thompson Pen.
“I sit on the chair there and she sit on the table … . I tell my grandkids go cook and dem a French-fry chicken. Mi nuh kno say gunman hold up the husband out a road, jook him and say go inna di yard go call out yuh wife,” Janice’s mother, Angela ‘Christine’ Holmes, told The Gleaner.
The second the woman appeared at the doorway, shots rang out.
Ellison-Reid’s mother, Angella Holmes, ran to hide and later knocked on a bathroom door for the kids to come out of hiding after the explosions subsided.
The police reported that the incident occurred shortly after 6pm.
Ellison-Reid was the firstborn of three children for her mother, who, along with the children, have been left traumatised.
“The youngest, a five-year-old, wanted to go on the dead body asking me if she a go see her mommy at church again. Mi say, ‘No, baby, you nah go see her again,’” Holmes said, crying.
Ellison-Reid’s husband managed to escape the grasp of one of the gunmen and bolt away from the scene.
The family is also worried as one of Janice’s sons, Jermain Dennis, has been reported missing after not returning home on Monday.
They theorise that he was kidnapped after reports surfaced that men had forced him into a car.
Over on Brunswick Avenue, residents are still shocked at the brazenness of the killing of Kaceem Angus.
“They told him to move and him stand off and dem just shot him in his head, two shot, and then when him drop, di two eyes get shoot out … . When dem a go weh and di crowd a come, dem fire the shot dem inna the air,” an eyewitness said.
Kaceem’s father, Oneil Angus, said his son was the backbone of the family.
“Just a youth weh born and come change my life. Him nuh work with me. A him run the business. Real general! Anything fi load, sand, tractor, or truck, him just load dem and send off the drivers … . Just the wrong place at the wrong time,” he told The Gleaner.
The senior Angus, trying to soothe his sorrow with liquor, said that their extended family overseas has been reeling from the devastating news.
Meanwhile, four men have been arrested in relation to the gruesome discovery of Griffiths on Monday.
His red and black Ranco motorcycle is still missing.
Elijah’s son, Venreece Griffiths, 26, told The Gleaner that he has not eaten since Monday.
“The casket can’t open. Mongoose all start eat him … . Mi would rather them kill me than him,” he said.
An unidentified man was also killed in McCooks Pen on Monday and another, Gladston Dawkins, shot and killed in Six Miles, Old Harbour, around 7:30 a.m. ln Tuesday.
The triple killing in Tryall Heights on Sunday rounds out a bloody 48-hour period.
The St Catherine North Police Division has recorded a massive jump in homicides compared to last year.
Statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force show that the division has seen a 35 per cent increase in killings up to November 20, compared to the corresponding period in 2019.
There have been 108 murders, an increase of 28.
The division has also seen a 21.7 per cent increase in shootings over the period.