Fatal double shootings cause tension on Retreat Avenue
“You lucky you come see us.”
Those were the words of a Constant Spring Road business proprietor as she stood in her establishment yesterday, looking at the only other person inside the room – a staff member.
The establishment is located close to the scene of a fatal shooting and double shooting, both occurring last week and have brought a lull for the proprietor, who said she has never seen such bloodshed before.
The first incident resulted in a murder last Tuesday and on Saturday, two other persons were shot.
“Of course, I am affected. It (business) slow right now … . We have been operating since the last two years and we have never had anything like it,” the businesswoman said.
When our news team visited the area yesterday, none of the men who would normally be seen tinting vehicles in the vicinity of Constant Spring Road and Retreat Avenue were present.
Head of the St Andrew North Police Division, Superintendent Aaron Fletcher, told The Gleaner that although the police did not have a clear understanding of the cause for the violence, they had told the men to vacate the area after Tuesday’s shooting.
“The men have been directed to vacate, to discontinue the practice of tinting along the space there, and they were so instructed from the first incident and we have been enforcing that,” Fletcher said.
He said that Saturday’s shooting occurred seconds after the police visited the location.
“Just minutes, if not seconds before the shooting on Saturday,” recounted an associate of one of the victims, who said she had just witnessed the police telling the men to leave the space.
But no sooner had the police left when some men turned up enquiring about the cost to tint a motor vehicle. A conversation ensued and one of the parties then brandished a firearm, hitting two persons, Fletcher said.
The police are of the view that Saturday’s attack was a reprisal for Tuesday’s fatal shooting.
The police believe the conflict brewing is among the men who operate along the roadway doing window tinting.
“We are uncertain as to the basis of the conflict, the genesis of the conflict, or what really is the driving force behind the conflict. Of course, between our intel and investigations, we have been doing dome serious work in trying to discern what really is the issue there because for a long time, we have had no issue there,” said Fletcher.
As at June 7, murders and shootings in the St Andrew North Police Division were up by three and 18 per cent, respectively, compared to the corresponding period last year. A total of 78 murders and 85 shootings have been recorded in the division since January.
A total of 584 Jamaicans have been murdered since the start of the year.