Blood­shed again

Man killed on birth­day, 62-y-o, two oth­ers bat­tle for life as guns bark again in MoBay

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Adrian Frater News Editor

WEST­ERN BUREAU:

AS MOST of Ja­maica sighed with re­lief at the min­i­mal im­pact of Hur­ri­cane Matthew, the on­go­ing law­less­ness in Mon­tego Bay, St James, yes­ter­day claimed yet another vic­tim when one man was shot and killed in the volatile ‘Viet­nam’ area in Flanker.

Three other per­sons were shot and se­ri­ously in­jured in the in­ci­dent.

The dead man, who res­i­dents iden­ti­fied only as ‘Sassa’, is be­lieved to be in his late 40s or early 50s. He was re­port­edly in a buoy­ant mood min­utes be­fore the shoot­ing, as he was said to be cel­e­brat­ing his birth­day.

“Dem kill de man pon him birth­day. What a wicked act!” said a man who iden­ti­fied him­self only as a friend of the de­ceased man. “When di shots dem start buss, the younger man dem run off, so dem just turn di gun dem pon di old peo­ple dem who couldn’t run.”

Ac­cord­ing to eye­wit­ness re­ports, ap­prox­i­mately 8:30 a.m., a sil­ver Toy­ota mo­tor car drove into ‘Viet­nam’ and sev­eral armed men alighted and started fir­ing shots.

‘Sassa’ was killed on the spot, while the other three per­sons were se­ri­ously in­jured.

“What you are see­ing is a toxic mix of money, guns, and law­less­ness,” said West Cen­tral St James Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Dr Ho­race Chang, who vis­ited the

area in the af­ter­math of the shoot­ing.

“This law­less­ness can­not con­tinue. We have to fix it.”

Cyn­thia Wood, whose 62year-old hus­band, Ce­cil Wood, was one of the per­sons shot and se­ri­ously in­jured, was a pic­ture of dis­tress when The Gleaner caught up with her out­side the Corn­wall Re­gional Hos­pi­tal, where her spouse of 42 years was un­der­go­ing emer­gency surgery.

“Him just pre­pared mi break­fast give mi and walk across the street to the shop when dem shot him,” said Mrs Wood. “Mi not even get fi eat the break­fast. I just can’t be­lieve it. Dem tek him gone a surgery. Him shot up all over.”

While most res­i­dents were re­luc­tant to speak with The Gleaner, one res­i­dent dis­creetly stated that the shoot­ing was a face-off be­tween ri­val fac­tions (the Up­town Sparta and the Orig­i­nal Sparta), who for­merly op­er­ated un­der one um­brella as the Sparta gang.

“Ev­ery­body know a who do the shoot­ing. It is just that is the wrong peo­ple dem got shot. They were all friends,” the res­i­dent said.

“Di sol­dier dem lef’ be­cause of the hur­ri­cane, and as dem lef’, the shoot­ing start again.”

Fol­low­ing in the wake of a spate of re­cent shoot­ings across St James, sev­eral com­mu­ni­ties were placed un­der cur­few and blan­keted with po­lice and soldiers who had sig­nif­i­cant mil­i­tary as­sets, in­clud­ing ar­moured per­son­nel car­ri­ers.

“Now that the threat of the hur­ri­cane has passed, we will def­i­nitely be bring­ing back the soldiers into the com­mu­nity,” said Chang.

“We have to put a lid on the law­less­ness, be­cause too many peo­ple are dy­ing.”

PHOTO BY PAUL CLARKE

A dis­traught Cyn­thia Wood (seated) and two of her friends wait out­side the Corn­wall Re­gional Hos­pi­tal for word on Mrs Wood’s hus­band, Ce­cil Wood, who was shot and se­ri­ously in­jured in yes­ter­day’s shoot­ing in Flanker, St James.

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