Four families didn’t have such a merry Christmas Day as it was revealed that four people died as a result of marauding gunmen in the parish of St. James, Jamaica.
Reports have stated that at about 7:00 pm, three men and two women were shot at a shop in Norwood, a gritty inner-city community in St James. Of the 5 shot, only one of the women survived the ordeal.
The three men that died have been identified as 43-year-old Yorken Silvera, 30-year-old Jason Anderson and 39-year-old Leo Mitchell. The dead woman is being identified as 27-year-old Monique Woolery.
Reports from the police have stated that Woolery and a male companion were walking in the vicinity of the incident when a white motorcar drive up towards them, then occupants then opened fire at the couple.
The couple then ran into a nearby shop to take refuge, the men approached the shop and continued firing.
Afterwards, 5 people were found suffering from gunshot wounds. All but a 16-year-old girl died. The 16-year-old was treated and released as her injuries weren’t considered life threatening.
The Christmas Day massacre pushed the murder tally in St James to 266 for 2016, compared to 212 for the same period last year.
“[Crime] in Montego Bay has really gone beyond any level of reason, and the normal traditional activities by the security forces are obviously not working. We clearly have to find new ways to deal with this and maybe new legislation,” said Dr Chang, a Cabinet minister.
“The Government is deeply concerned and we have to examine the situation again very carefully, because this kind of criminal activity that we are experiencing cannot be allowed to continue and will not be allowed to continue. So we have to find the appropriate mechanism, the appropriate approach to restore a sense of order in this town,” said Dr Chang.
Residents were tight-lipped when asked to comment on the incident.
However, one man who mustered up enough courage to speak to members of the media claimed that gunshots rang out for about five minutes.
“Over 100 rounds fire in the space of five minutes. Five minutes of gunshot! In bed me deh a watch the news and me hear the shot dem and just run out. And a dat happen,” said the man, who identified himself only as Scrappy.
“The whole community devastated well bad. We don’t know how we are going to cope,” he added.