Sat | Jul 31, 2021

Witnesses: Men in bulletproof vests shot four

Rae Town fishers initially thought gunmen were cops

Published:Thursday | June 10, 2021 | 12:17 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
Police officers investigating a shooting incident near the Rae Town fishing village on Wednesday after four people were shot by unknown assailants.
Police officers investigating a shooting incident near the Rae Town fishing village on Wednesday after four people were shot by unknown assailants.

When fisherfolk saw men dressed in bulletproof vests making their way across the Rae Town fishing village on Wednesday morning, they initially thought it was the police, until loud explosions and screams for help beckoned. One resident told The...

When fisherfolk saw men dressed in bulletproof vests making their way across the Rae Town fishing village on Wednesday morning, they initially thought it was the police, until loud explosions and screams for help beckoned.

One resident told The Gleaner that he could have died leaving his unfinished mackerel, green peas, and rice that was being prepared for breakfast.

“The man dem deh pon di beach ‘bout five minutes a fire gunshot,” he said.

The police reported that four people, including a woman, were shot by armed men about 6:30 a.m.

They were still being treated up to press time.

Some residents were puzzled as to the reason the violence that has marred sections of Kingston Central has now reached the seaside.

Our news team gathered that this latest incident may have been a reprisal for a killing in the community on Monday.

Head of the Kingston Central Police Division, Superintendent Maldria Jones-Williams, recently said that there were 32 criminal gangs within the division, 15 of which are active.

Rose Gardens, Allman Town, Fletcher’s Land, Southside, and Tel-Aviv are some of the communities where the gangs are located.

Though the residents told The Gleaner that fear has tightened the screws on the sharing of information, the police are claiming otherwise.

The police say that with a 68 per cent clear-up rate for homicide cases in the division, residents are more willing than ever to assist them with information.

One resident, however, questioned the commitment to the crime fight.

“Police don’t want crime stop. The Government knows that is the biggest-paying job in Jamaica. The basic man, lawyer and judge, they get paid through crime. Everybody want to own a security firm because of crime. Is something they feed. Anytime crime scale down, nuff people don’t have any work,” the resident theorised.

NEVERENDING CYCLE

A 59-year-old resident told The Gleaner that he has been around long enough to see the cycle.

“My grandson this. Me and him deh here right now. A crime happen, me get hurt and dem probably pardon (spare) him, but him know say a John do it. Who a go deh deh fi curb him mind from go seek out John? When him grow up, him catch one of John relative. John hear say a him. How we a go deal with it?” he asked.

Member of Parliament Donovan Williams told our news team that he has had talks with the citizenry, the Peace Management Initiative, and the police about the ongoing violence. He is calling on the factions to find peaceful ways to resolve their differences as they all know and grew up with each other.

The latest shooting took place on the heels of Tuesday’s latest weekly protest by women from Kingston Central for the area to be declared a zone of special operation.

As at June 8, the Kingston Central Police Division recorded 31 murders, seven more than the corresponding period last year.

Shootings in the division had also climbed, with 28 reports, six more than the same period in 2020.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com