Sun | Apr 2, 2023

Gunmen kill 52-y-o woman at her Gregory Park shop

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2023 | 12:20 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer

Fifty-two-year-old shop-keeper Diana Griffiths became the latest victim slain in the wave of violence gripping the Gulf area of Gregory Park in St Catherine on Tuesday morning.

Griffiths, a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) activist whose small grocery store was fire-bombed in the lead-up to the 2020 general election, was sitting in front of her shop about 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday when three men approached her.

According to eyewitnesses, the woman appeared oblivious to the danger, seemingly believing that the men were approaching to support her business.

On reaching close to her, one of the men reportedly brandished a firearm and opened fire, hitting her, before leaving the area on foot.

A relative, who was in the vicinity, reportedly rushed to the woman’s assistance.

But shortly afterwards, the men returned to the scene, firing wildly, causing persons to scamper for cover.

No one else was injured.

Griffiths was then taken to the Spanish Town Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

“She is everything to me. I love her to death,” said one grieving family member.

As the news of the murder spread, JLP Deputy General Secretary Andrew Wheatley, St Catherine East Central Member of Parliament Alando Terrelonge, and Gregory Park division Councillor Joy Brown visited Griffiths’ home to console relatives and express condolences.

Wheatley dismissed speculation that her murder could be politically motivated, saying that it was an act of violence by criminal elements exercising wanton disregard for life.

“The jury is still out, however, but I don’t see the politics at play. I don’t want to escalate it to the level of politics. In my opinion, these are just criminal elements acting up, and this is something we have to try to address,” he added.

“She was known to be a very quiet person, maybe a bit outspoken about things she believed in, but nothing that would warrant her to be murdered in such a heinous manner,” Wheatley added.

Terrelonge declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the St Catherine South police have identified three men who they believe can assist with the investigation.

ruddy.mathison@gleanerjm.com