Two dead, houses shot up as gangsters trade bullets
Scores of residents in the Melbourne, Quarry, and Salt Spring road sections of Montego Bay, St James, cowered inside their homes on Tuesday night as gangsters brandishing assault rifles engaged each other in an hour-long gunfight, which claimed two lives and damaged several homes.
Those killed have been identified as unemployed 48-year-old Boyce Tummings of Montego Hills, and 24-year-old Neko Wright, also unemployed, of Birch Hill district.
It is unclear whether the deceased men were combatants or were just caught up in the melee.
A 28-year-old man was also shot in the incident but is expected to survive.
Several homes had their windows and doors damaged by flying bullets.
According to reports, at about 8 p.m., armed men, who are said to be in a feud with men from Quarry, were met with heavy gunfire as they tried to enter that community.
A running battle ensued as the invading force was forced to retreat.
When the shooting subsided, Tummings was found dead, with multiple bullet wounds, in the area in which the gun battle was fiercest.
Wright and his injured cousin were found on their verandah, suffering from bullet wounds. They were rushed to the hospital, where Wright was pronounced dead and the other man admitted.
The frightening incident caused taxi operators to withdraw their service, leaving persons from Melbourne, Quarry, Salt Spring Road, Green Pond, and Cornwall Courts stranded in downtown Montego Bay before a strong detachment of police and military personnel converged on the area.
Reports suggest that the two warring factions are being financed and armed by thugs who fled St James during the recent states of emergency imposed on the parish but who are seeking to retain control over turf left behind.
Since the start of the year, 105 persons have been murdered in the northwestern parish.