In the wake of several murders said to be hits ordered by a community don serving time in prison, a resident of one St Andrew community, who said people have been forced to flee their homes because their names are on a death list, is pleading for help from the authorities.
The individual, who spoke with the Jamaica Observer on condition of anonymity, described the incarcerated man as “a plague to the community” who regularly extorts residents through his relatives. Those who refuse to meet the demands are marked for death, the fearful individual alleged.
According to the resident, recent killings, including those of a 46-year-old woman and 26-year-old man, were ordered from behind bars by the individual.
“In April, [name withheld] held a round robin, regardless the country was under curfew. He called and asked her for $50,000 from her round robin money and she refused. It don’t make a difference that he’s in jail, it’s as if he is out. He has daily contact, he puts up things on Facebook and everything. A death warrant was on her,” the resident alleged.
“Somebody notify the police that she was going to be killed and the police came that same day and notify her. I was told they were going to do a patrol. Around 25 minutes to three before the curfew we heard the gunshots,” the individual told the Observer.
According to the resident, a week before the woman’s murder, thugs attempted to kill a relative of the 26-year-old man but were unsuccessful. When that family fled the area, it is believed that the criminals, who later learned of his location, murdered him in a drive-by.
“They went down there and killed him. The same way they killed [the woman] — gunshots to the head. We living in the community, we are afraid. People have to be fleeing, the gunmen that he is grooming, some likkle pickney him a groom, enuh. This man seems to be in control of the area same way. A jus’ so him a go roun’ and a send out the hits. I was told the police are aware of the list. I know, in return, people line up back a list with his family members’ names and him say if anybody touch him family members everybody a go dead. Him is in prison, him a send out hit, the police can say he’s very dangerous, but what are they doing?” the individual asked.
Yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Crime Fitz Bailey told the Observer that he was aware of a situation like that in a St Andrew community but he had no knowledge of a death list.
“It is something we have to investigate,” he said.
Bailey said he was “aware that there was an incident where two persons were shot and killed”, and there was a subsequent murder in Clarendon that may be linked.
“The police have taken five persons into custody. They were held in Manchester during a police operation,” DCP Bailey disclosed.
He said police in both Manchester and Kingston were working together in relation to the murders in the St Andrew community. However, “no one has been held as yet in relation to the murder in Clarendon”.
“But we know they are linked. We are doing our investigations,” he told the Observer.
Asked whether the five people the police have held so far might also have been responsible for the Clarendon murder, Bailey said “We don’t know what we might find out from the ballistics and so on.”
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