Kids tied up, shot; 14-y-o paral­ysed

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Ja­son Cross Gleaner Writer

SOM­BRE WAS the gen­eral mood yes­ter­day at 7 March Pen Road in Span­ish Town, St Cather­ine, in the Africa Set­tle­ment area, where five per­sons, in­clud­ing three chil­dren were shot, killed and their homes torched early last Sun­day morn­ing.

It would have been five dead chil­dren in­stead of three, if a 14year-old girl who was shot 10 times had suc­cumbed to in­juries, and a five-year-old girl who some per­sons say was de­lib­er­ately spared by the gang­sters had not been. The gun­men were re­port­edly wear­ing po­lice vests, masks and sport­ing high­pow­ered ri­fles.

Two of the chil­dren killed, ac­cord­ing to a fam­ily mem­ber who re­quested that his name not be used in this story, were mur­dered

Af­ter the shot dem start fire, mi come round come see mi fam­ily dem pon di ground a burn up and some a dem a scream same way.

ex­e­cu­tion style. He told The Gleaner that the two chil­dren aged nine and 14 years were tied up by the hood­lums and then shot.

He said the lit­tle girl who was spared from the at­tack ran and

hid un­til the smoke cleared. Ev­ery­one thought she was among the rub­ble, dead, but she sur­vived.

The fam­ily mem­ber re­counted the events he ex­pe­ri­enced lead­ing up to the or­deal. He was a few me­tres away when it hap­pened.

“You hear like dem a kick off di gate. When dem kick off di gate, you hear ex­plo­sion, [shots] f-ir­ing non-stop and a bare peo­ple a scream. So mi come out f-i look if a po­lice. When mi come out and look, mi see dem inna po­lice vest. Some a dem have on mask, some a dem don’t. When mi come out, dem see mi and fire shot, [but] mi es­cape. Bout 15 to 20 a dem. All in a mi mind, mi a try come to the scream­ing, but mi couldn’t be­cause it was a lot of them and dem a fire shot. Af­ter the shot dem start fire, mi come round come see mi fam­ily dem pon di ground a burn up and some a dem a scream same way,” he said.

Pe­trena Hansel, mother of the 14-year-old girl who sur­vived, told The Gleaner that one side of her daugh­ter’s body is now paral­ysed.

“Dem nuh have nuh heart, a dat me know. When dem kick off di door, mi know dem see the two-year-old pon di bed. Dem coulda save the two-yearold, too. Dem gone al­ready suh we just aff-i think bout dem fu­neral. No­body nuh have noth­ing good f-i seh bout it (the in­ci­dent), ev­ery­body feel it, down to the po­lice feel it,” she told The Gleaner.

A cur­few that was or­dered since Sun­day was in full ef­fect yes­ter­day. Law­men and sol­diers were busy set­ting up and man­ning bar­ri­cades at dif­fer­ent spots through the com­mu­nity.

The po­lice were on pa­trol stop­ping and search­ing ve­hi­cles and civil­ians.

The Peace Man­age­ment Ini­tia­tive had a team in the area, giv­ing sup­port to the fam­ily mem­bers of the vic­tims.

Mean­while, the Cabi­net dis­cussed the mat­ter yes­ter­day, and Prime Min­is­ter An­drew Hol­ness said he was deeply sad­dened by it.

“A grue­some mur­der was com­mit­ted. The killings must end. The Gov­ern­ment is now even more re­solved to dis­man­tle the gangs and bring those re­spon­si­ble to jus­tice,” Hol­ness said.


Mem­bers of the Peace Man­age­ment Ini­tia­tive at the death zone on March Pen Road yes­ter­day.

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