Families rattled as four slain in west Kingston
A 24-year-old aspiring artiste was among four people shot and killed in west Kingston on Saturday in ongoing gang violence.
Emilio 'Shakka Don' West, of Chestnut Street in Tivoli Gardens, left his home for the studio to make last-minute changes to his first EP, which he intended to release next month. But he was shot and killed on his way there in a drive-by attack on Regent Street.
Describing West as quiet and kind, his family theorises that he was an unwitting victim and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The shooting occurred at approximately 9 p.m.
“Him come fi fix some t'ings, but him get caught up inna conversation. So when me ready fi go up now, him say him a reason, so mi leave him,” his friend and producer, Nicholas 'Mention Records' Brown, told The Gleaner on Sunday.
His mother, Sherian Lewis, is still grappling with the shock death of her first child and only son.
“Him walk wid him earphone inna him ears. Him say him no wah nobody talk to him,” Lewis said of West, who was also a graphic designer who spent much of his time in his room making party flyers.
Another man, 37-year-old Anthony Davis, also of Chestnut Street, was killed in the gun attack. Four other persons were injured.
Police reports are that West and Davis were standing on the roadway when a motor vehicle drove up and the occupants opened fire at the group. All six were transported to hospital where West and Davis were confirmed dead.
The shooting death two Sundays ago of another Tivoli resident, Nico 'Frassman' Francis, had sparked heightened concerns of an escalation of gang tensions.
It is unclear whether that incident might have triggered the wave of violence.
Calls to Senior Superintendent Michael Phipps, who heads the Kingston Western Police Division, went unanswered Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, Randie Robinson and 31-year-old driver Terrence 'Stamma' Forsythe were killed by unknown assailants at approximately 5 p.m. on Beeston Street.
According to the police, Robinson, Forsythe, and the two other men were at a shop at Beeston Street when they were attacked by gunmen.
Robinson and Forsythe were pronounced dead at hospital while the other two men were admitted.
Relatives of Robinson say he lived in Vineyard Town but was visiting Luke Lane to collect money from a friend when he was slain.
His common-law wife, Marcia Myers, said the gang war in the area has left her distressed. She is contemplating moving.
“Mi nah go cope, mi can't stay round yah suh inna it again … . Mi nah stay. A nuff a mi family mi lose round here so same way by gunshot – mi bredda, mi nephew, but mi still haffi just have faith,” she said.
Myers said her partner, who she described as jovial, had six children. His youngest is a three-month-old daughter.
On neighbouring West Street, Ricardo Forsythe's voice broke as he spoke about his youngest son.
“He was a very nice person. Anybody can tell you. Tru him stammer, dem make fun a him dem way deh, so him nuh too talk,” the distraught dad said.
The elder Forsythe insists that his son was not involved in gang violence. Rather, he was said to be preparing for the birth of his first child.
The 67-year-old dad moved from St Mary years ago and made West Street his home. He said things have never been as bad as they are now.
“It never used to stay so. Back then, violence used to go on, but a never so,” the father said of the West Street scourge. “No other people from other place never used to come and cause no violence. Now, a different system. The people dem weh kill him a good as all younger boy than him.”
The Kingston Western Police Division recorded five murders up to January 22, according to the Jamaica Constabulary Force website. That number is two fewer than the seven the division tallied for the corresponding period last year.