Car wash operator shot dead hours after party killing

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — The police theorise that yesterday’s murder of a 48-year-old man was in reprisal for Saturday night’s gun slaying of Andrew Campbell, popularly called Kid, at an illegal offshore party.

About 11:20 am 48-year-old car wash operator, Cosmond Looney, was shot and killed during a brazen attack by unknown assailants in his Big Bridge community.

His killing came just a few hours after Campbell’s murder during an illegal party on a cay close to Big Bridge, Westmoreland.

A source told the Jamaica Observer that the party was held on the cay to avoid the police.

Police said that Campbell was shot and killed about 8:30 Saturday night during his attempt to calm two patrons who got in a fight at the party.

“During the altercation he intervened to make peace between the warring factions and whilst doing so, he was shot. The man (Looney) who was killed is believed to be [a] close relative of one of the men who was involved in the altercation,” a police source told the Observer. His relative was blamed for Campbell’s death.

“The police can’t definitively confirm if it is a reprisal [but] there was a murder [Saturday] night that took place at an illegal event and, based on some of the information that the police are getting, is that today’s [yesterday’s] murder is a reprisal for that murder,” the police source said.

Speaking with the Observer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Adrian Hamilton said the police had difficulty in accessing the scene of Saturday’s killing but were eventually assisted to the area by members of the Marine Division.

The police officer said investigations were at a “delicate” stage but revealed that the police have detained six people and seized two motorcycles as the probe of the two killings continues.

“As a matter of fact, our investigations will be widened to include other crimes that have been committed in this space in recent times, and we will not relent in bringing a resolution to this current situation,” said Hamilton.

Pointing to the efforts that were put in place to transport patrons to Saturday’s event, Hamilton said the creative ways in which people were having illegal parties are of concern to the police.

The police, said Hamilton, will have a zero-tolerance approach in ensuring people obey measures implemented under the Disaster Risk Management Act, and appeal to residents to desist from holding illegal events. He said that over the past week more than 60 people were prosecuted for breaches of the Act.

Looney’s killing brought to five the number of homicides reported in the Westmoreland Police Division since last Wednesday night when three men were shot and killed after criminals armed with rifles, shotguns and handguns went on a shooting spree.

Last year two men were shot and killed and several others shot and injured during an illegal party in the Gordon’s District area of Whitehouse in Westmoreland.

– Additional reporting by Anthony Lewis.

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