Sun | May 16, 2021

Seven people murdered in St James, Westmoreland

Published:Monday | March 8, 2021 | 12:24 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer

SEVEN people, including a 16-year-old boy, were murdered in St James and Westmoreland during a bloody weekend in which a 13-year-old student was left nursing gunshot wounds at hospital.

Those killed in St James have been identified as 33-year-old Daryl Richards, a data entry clerk of Salt Spring; 41-year-old Bryan Coote, otherwise called ‘Tadd’, farmer of Kensington; 16-year-old Omarion Campbell, a student of Peace View, Albion; 35-year-old Jermaine Brown, otherwise called ‘Jail Bud’, painter of Fairfield, Irwin.

The Westmoreland victims are 28-year-old Arceno Samms, labourer of Red Ground, in Negril; 34-year-old, Devon Mosley, otherwise called ‘Bandoo’, labourer, also of Red Ground, Negril; and 59-year-old Winston Williams, otherwise called ‘Slyback’, labourer of Kings Valley, Grange Hill.

The Savanna-la-Mar police reported that shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, gunmen said to be part of a gang operating out of Red Ground in Negril attacked rivals near a chicken farm.

Residents said the gun battle lasted more than an hour.

Six persons were found suffering from gunshot wounds and were rushed to hospital. Samms and Mosley were pronounced dead at hospital.

GANG FEUD

A police investigator from Westmoreland said there has been an ongoing gang feud between men from Red Ground, Negril.

“This is not the first instance where we have had a double murder in that community,” a policeman, who requested anonymity, said.

“The entire warfare is connected to the lottery scamming, and most of these men who are caught up in the altercation are well know scammers, but the police will now be clamping down on these men.”

Over in St James, the police report that the most recent of the five weekend murders occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Saturday in Hopeton district.

Reports by the police are that Jermaine Brown, who resides with his common-law-wife and children in Irwin, travelled to Hopeton to visit a friend.

While at her house, an argument reportedly developed between Brown and the woman’s babyfather. The dispute got physical, and Brown was shot multiple times.

The accused allegedly fled the scene.

Prior to that incident, 16-year-old Campbell and a 13-year-old boy were at a salon and cafe in Albion about 5:20 p.m. when nine men in two motor cars sprayed the teens with gunshots.

Campbell succumbed to his wounds.

Investigators say they have strong reasons to believe that the killing of the 16-year-old boy stemmed from the murder of 26-year-old Adrian Kemar Alexander, otherwise called ‘Fadda God’, a dancehall entertainer, in Cassava Walk, about 10:30 a.m. on Friday morning.

Following the series of shootings in Albion, the police maintained a strong security presence in the community.

“We have carried out a number of operations in Leaders Avenue and also in Cassava Walk in Albion in search of some of the suspected shooters, who the police have already identified,” said a policeman, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Thirty-eight people have been murdered in the parish of St James since the start of the year, while over 20 have been killed in Westmoreland.