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MoBay mayhem - Five killed; house torched; Salt Spring in fear

Published:Monday | April 26, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Adrian Frater, News Editor

Western Bureau:

Five persons were killed gangland-style in volatile Bird Hill Avenue of Meggie Top in Salt Spring, St James, on Saturday night in yet another murder/arson which has left the community traumatised and residents cowering in fear.

Two bullet-riddled bodies were found along a track in a section of the community while another three bodies, which were reduced to smouldering ash, were found in the burnt-out remains of a wooden house. The house was apparently torched after the three individuals were shot and killed.

The two bodies left intact have been identified as those of 23-year-old Elton 'Scrammy' Hinds, a mechanic of a Bird Hill Avenue address; and 20-year-old tattoo artist Cornel 'Dimarco' Brown, who is of a Meggie Top address.

Two of the victims identified in the house are Damion Brooks and 20-year-old Byron Powell, whose addresses are not known. Last night, the fifth body was yet to be identified.

Residents say they were awakened about 3 a.m. by heavy gunfire. Shortly after, neighbours noticed that a two-bedroom wooden house was on fire.

"It sound like the shot dem was firing at my doorway," one shaken resident who wished not to be identified told The Gleaner. "I quickly slide under me bed, put the chimmy (chamber pot) on my head and just start beg God to spare me until daylight."

While some bewildered residents looked on in shock as police scene-of-crime technicians processed the spot where two of the bodies were found, others spoke in hushed tones, relating their individual experiences of horror.

"We are not getting much information from the people," a policeman on the scene told The Gleaner. "In situations like these, people are usually reluctant to speak."

Henry McCurdy, the People's National Party (PNP) vice-chairman for Region Six and constituency caretaker for the area, who was on the scene, described it as yet another example of the wanton lawless which has resulted in some 79 murders in Montego Bay since the start of the year.

Special crime plan needed

"This is another sad day for law-abiding citizens as we are once again left in fear on account of these rampaging killers," said McCurdy. "I am calling on the new commissioner of police (Owen Ellington) to develop a special crime plan for Montego Bay because the city is being destroyed by lawlessness."

The latest killing evoked memories of a similar incident in the same community on April 18 last year when marauding gunmen invaded a wake in Buck Toe Lane and killed cousins, 22-year-old Ricardo Rickettes, 26-year-old Roy Rickettes Jr and 24-year-old Fabian Bailey.