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Tredegar terror - Weeping residents angry at MP and police

Published:Saturday | August 14, 2010 | 12:00 AM
The tragedy that rocked Tredegar Park yesterday hit home to even the youngest of community members. - photos by Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
The reason for the presence of members of the Jamaica Defence Force in Tredegar Park yesterday is foreign to the expe-rience of many of its elderly residents
A testimony to the horrific events of Friday morning, this was once the home of five of the gunshot victims.
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Arthur Hall and Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Reporters

THE GRIEF was evident, and the tears flowed freely as residents of Tredegar Park, St Catherine, responded to the killing of eight of their neighbours yesterday morning.

But what was more evident was the anger, as the residents claimed that they had been abandoned by the security forces and their political representatives and left to the mercy of heartless criminals.

With five men and three females, including an 11-year-old girl dead, the residents of the east central St Catherine community had reason to mourn.

"A yesterday me pick some ackees and give me mother to cook," recounted the son of 43-year-old Erong Hopelyn Dennis, one of the three women killed in the wee hours of 'Black Friday', August 13.

In addition to his mother, the young man, whose name is being withheld, lost his 11-year-old sister, Angel Anderson, his sister Monique Nekfifia Anderson, 23, and his brother Joel Anderson, 16.

Another of his brothers was left hospitalised with gunshot wounds after the gunmen sprayed bullets into their house.

"My mother nuh come out of the yard, and if you see her on the road, is she and nuff little children because she nuh talk to people," said the young man who is left to care for his two younger brothers - three and six years old - who were the only persons in the house not shot by the criminals, in the section of Tredegar Park known as Monkey Town.

This can't continue

Other residents mourned the killing of the four family members at Lot 23 and the four others killed in the incident at Lot 31.

The residents identified the other victims as 60-year-old Eldon 'Daddy' Heron Senior, his 38-year-old son, Eldon Heron Jr, 22-year-old Gary 'Lando' Stewart, and 26-year-old Orett Miller, otherwise called 'Yankee'.

"This can't continue. This should be the last killing like this in Tredegar Park," declared an elderly man.

"Them don't deserve to die like this. Why is it only the innocent are being killed?" questioned another elderly man.

The residents reported that about 12:30 yesterday morning, explosions were heard in the area.

On investigation, the residents saw a group of men numbering between 15 and 20, dressed in dark-coloured clothing, firing shots into a number of houses before setting fire to at least two premises.

According to residents, calls to the police went unanswered as the gunmen went on a rampage that lasted for between 30 and 45 minutes.

"As anything happen, the police come round here, but when gunmen come kill wi aff, wi caan si any police," said a young woman, as the tears streamed down her cheeks.

"Let this be a warning to all of you that we have to come together to protect each other because the police and soldiers nah protect we," said an obviously angry young man.

"If you did think we have any MP (member of Parliament) or police to protect wi, you can see wi nuh have none now. You nuh see all now the MP nuh reach yah so," the young man added angrily.

Checks by The Gleaner revealed that Member of Parliament Natalie Neita-Headly was overseas, while the police say they responded quickly after receiving the report of the shooting.

According to the police, they engaged the gunmen and fatally shot two of them.

A feud involving gangsters from Tredegar Park and neighbouring Gravel Heights has left several persons dead in the past three years and forced scores of others to abandon their homes.

The security forces had established a temporary post in the community, but the violence resumed as soon as the police and soldiers moved out.