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Murder toll soars despite police efforts

Published:Thursday | April 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator

Despite the changes effected by acting Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington since January to tackle the country's crime problem, murders continue to be rampant, with at least a dozen people killed violently between Tuesday night and yesterday.

The incidents have pushed the murder toll to more than 409 people killed since the start of the year, which represents an increase of more than 60 when compared to the figures for the corresponding period of last year.

While unable to confirm the number of murders since Tuesday night, Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green has blamed the killings on the influx of illegal weapons and ammunition into the island.

"The lack of efficient tools is preventing law-enforcement officers from doing their jobs," argued Green. "Witnesses are fearful and there is a witness-protection programme which is limited."

No quick fix

Green charged that there was no quick fix for the crime problem and further explained that there was no social intervention programmes available to address the issue.

The trail of blood stretched from St James to Clarendon and the Corporate Area. Among the victims were two unidentified men killed in York Town, Clarendon, yesterday morning.

Also yesterday, a 33-year-old man identified as Ricardo Garrick of West Main Drive, Kingston 20, was killed by unknown assailants at Darby Terrace, Kingston 20. The police said three men - Huntley Davis, 43, Everald Gordon, 50, and another 50-year-old man known only as 'Jimmy' - were killed by gunmen at Waterloo district, Spanish Town, St Catherine. The incident took place at 6 a.m. A third person was shot and injured in that incident.

Five gunned down

Gunmen also struck in the community of Majesty Gardens, St Andrew, killing two men. Dead are Ricardo Cohen, 22, and Dwayne Mitchell. Two other people injured during the incident.

Sydney Oakley, 44, taxi operator of 2nd Place, 1 North, Greater Portmore, St Catherine, and White Water Meadows in Spanish Town, was killed by unknown assailants at Craig Close, Kingston 13, Tuesday night.

A 27-year-old man identified as Sheldon Reid, otherwise called 'War Lord', of Cobourne Lane, Kingston 8, was shot and killed by gunmen in the community yesterday morning.

Also on Tuesday night, Davian Tabannah, 20, of Uranium Way, Mineral Heights, Clarendon, was stabbed and killed by one of two men during a dispute in his community.