Fri | Mar 24, 2023

Senior citizen shot dead in Stony Hill

Published:Wednesday | February 1, 2023 | 1:13 AM
Bertram Johnson
Bertram Johnson

The St Andrew North police are keeping a close watch on the community of Rocky Valley in Stony Hill following the brutal murder of an elderly carpenter and political activist late on Monday.

The dead man has been identified as 62-year-old Bertram Johnson, otherwise called ‘Tens’.

Reports are that about 9 p.m., Johnson was having dinner at home with his common-law wife when he sought to attend to a customer inside a shop he operated.

Johnson went outside and several explosions were heard, The Gleaner understands.

Johnson’s body was found in a pool of blood with gunshot wounds to the upper body.

A motorcycle was reportedly heard speeding away from the crime scene.

Rock Valley residents told The Gleaner that they were fearful of a reprisal as Johnson was a much-respected figure in the community.

“A long time nothing nuh go on ‘round a Valley. Fighting go on and you hear one and two shot fire, but the place did good coming from the dark days. Dem man deh a foundation inna the place. Not everybody did with him obviously, but him have respect,” a male resident, who requested anonymity, said on Tuesday.

Another resident was concerned that the murder could cause tensions to rise and put a damper on commerce.

“The place have to go lock down earlier and businesses a go spoil. We never want this for the community because a new year now and a better people want. Crime shut down place and people live in fear,” the woman told The Gleaner.

A senior cop who asked not to be identified emphasised that the investigation was in its early stages and that the police are following several lines of enquiry.

“Mr Johnson is known by the police. He was charged last year with illegal possession of a quantity of ammunition, so all avenues will be explored,” the senior cop said.

The St Andrew North Police Division recorded one murder up to January 29.

That represents a 66.7 per cent decline when compared to the corresponding period in 2022.

Other serious crimes, including shootings, injuries, rape and break-ins, in the division have also declined.

The three robberies tallied so far in 2023 are par with year-on-year records.