MAY­HEM

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

High School were left nurs­ing bul­let wounds.

Later in the day, at ap­prox­i­mately 2:00 p.m., stu­dents and teach­ers at the Glen­de­von Pri­mary School were forced to take cover as war­ring fac­tions traded heavy gun­fire for well over half an hour. Based on re­ports from the com­mu­nity, the shoot­ing was sparked by the killing of a man in the com­mu­nity on Mon­day night.

There were also other re­ports of shoot­ings in com­mu­ni­ties such as Nor­wood, Tucker, Glen­de­von, Cather­ine Mount, Tan­gle River, and the Cam­bridge area.

In re­spond­ing to the on­go­ing vi­o­lence across the parish, Heroy Clarke, the mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Cen­tral St James, made an im­pas­sioned plea to the thugs to lay down their guns and take up their Bi­bles with a view to putting their lives in God’s hands.

“Re­move the guns from your pock­ets and waists and re­place them with Bi­bles so peace can reign again,” urged Clarke. “Also, the lead­er­ship in the com­mu­ni­ties in west­ern Ja­maica – pub­lic and pri­vate – must take up the man­tle and step up to the plate and lead from the front, not be­hind.”

GLEN­DE­VON MUR­DER

How­ever, the fol­low­ing morn­ing (Wed­nes­day), the com­mu­nity of Glen­de­von was thrown into mourn­ing when news broke that pop­u­lar com­mu­nity fig­ure Franklyn ‘Big Frank’ Lawrence was mur­dered gang­land style along Union Street in Mon­tego Bay by a man who re­port­edly walked up and shot him in the face.

Yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, less than three hours af­ter the Iron­shore in­ci­dent, there were re­ports of heavy gun­fire in the ‘Gulf’ area of Nor­wood. Un­con­firmed re­ports state that sev­eral per­sons were shot.

The crim­i­nal may­hem con­tin­ued late into the af­ter­noon when, at ap­prox­i­mately 5:00 p.m., armed thugs at­tacked a man out­side a gas sta­tion along the Sun Val­ley main road, in Glen­de­von, fir­ing sev­eral shots at him. The man fled into a nearby garage and the shoot­ers fol­lowed him, fir­ing more shots.

While the man, who was be­ing chased, suf­fered a bul­let wound to the leg, the work­ers in the garage and per­sons who were there do­ing busi­ness were left badly trau­ma­tised but un­hurt. It was later dis­cov­ered that two gas sta­tion at­ten­dants at the scene of the ini­tial shoot­ing had sus­tained bul­let wounds. By then, the shoot­ers had left the scene in three cars, fir­ing a bar­rage of gun­shots into the air.

At 6:40 p.m., news came that a man iden­ti­fied only as ‘Ce­cil’ had been shot dead in Flanker.

Ear­lier this year, gov­ern­ment sen­a­tor and for­mer Mon­tego Bay mayor at­tor­ney-at-law Charles Sin­clair called for a state of emer­gency in St James, ar­gu­ing that the crime sit­u­a­tion was out of control. How­ever, sev­eral prominent per­sons, in­clud­ing Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Dr Carl Wil­liams and sev­eral top play­ers in the busi­ness and tourist sec­tor, re­jected the call.

With crime again reach­ing fright­en­ing lev­els and spread­ing across the parish to in­clude re­mote dis­tricts such as Re­trieve (near Cam­bridge), where one fam­ily is now pre­par­ing to bury a fa­ther, his son, and grand­son, who were all killed by armed gang­sters in sep­a­rate shoot­ing in­ci­dents in that com­mu­nity, Sin­clair is again call­ing for a state of emer­gency.

More than 180 per­sons have been mur­dered in St James since the start of the year. Last year, the parish had a record 212 mur­ders.

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