‘Dem take mi son life for nothing’
Police keep Maxfield Avenue under watch following murder
The sight of his son’s body sprawled on a funeral home gurney, riddled with a dozen bullets clad in bloody and torn work clothes, was hardest for Comarsh Leslie Sr.
Recalling the sight turned his bawling into wails, shivers into shakes, and required a long drag from his cigarette, washed down with an alcoholic ‘special’. Repeatedly, the mixture failed to appease his pain.
Nineteen-year-old Comarsh Leslie Jr had just returned home from work when he and a cousin were ambushed by a masked man near Fitzgerald Lane, off Maxfield Avenue in Kingston, about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The cousin was shot in the leg as he fled.
Leslie, however, did not escape. He was shot in the back of the head. As he fell to the ground, his attackers peppered him.
It is the latest murder in a longstanding rivalry between gangs aligned to Fitzgerald and Glen roads versus residents from nearby Lincoln Road. Mere metres from each other, the factions have been at odds for years. Murders, firebombings, and torturing have become regular features of their existence.
It is a rivalry, in which youngsters who are able to wield a gun must pick a side or be labelled as an enemy.
The problem is, however, the warring gangsters all grew up together, some sharing meals from childhood, the senior Leslie cried.
“Dem just come and take mi son life for nothing. They poison his mother about four, five years now, and is mi alone struggle with dem, send him to school, you know?” Leslie Sr cried as relatives and friends gathered on Monday, reflecting on the heinous act that left dem in sorrow.
“Is a youth that doesn’t stray because is so I grow them. Him don’t mix up. And I go out there go see mi youth dead pon the ground, you know. The one son weh mi get,” he continued. “The man come from work and not even reach into him yard all now yet. Mi go down there (morgue), go see mi son in him work clothes and everything lie down.”
Inside the yard, grieving relatives also mourned the loss, answering several calls to confirm the shocking news.
“If every youth was like this youth that died, Jamaica would be better because this little boy doesn’t keep friends,” said one female resident, distress etched on her face. “He really didn’t deserve to die like this. This is really sad for all of us.”
On Tuesday, Deputy Superintendent Hemford Wade of the St Andrew South Police Division said the police are on the hunt for the killer.
“As we speak, we are still doing some work around it, and shortly, I will be doing a case review to see where we have reached, especially as it relates to who the perpetrator is,” said Wade, adding that police presence and patrol have been drastically increased in the area.
“There has always been a little conflict for turf between both sides. A set of men want to control the turf, and from my perspective, I don’t see anything up there for them to control,” said the senior cop. “Sometimes persons are removed from the space, we have a little bit of peace, and all of a sudden it starts back again.”