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Grants Pen triple murder paints grim picture of days ahead

There is heightened tension in Grants Pen, St Andrew, after a bloody weekend culminating in a shooting that claimed the lives of three men yesterday afternoon.

In the incident, gunmen in a motor car drove up to a worksite and fired on a group of men, leaving death in their wake.

This followed Saturday’s shooting incident during which a man reported to be a brother of dancehall artiste Mluleki ‘Jahshii’ Clarke was killed.

Reports are that 39-year-old David Clarke, of Grants Pen Avenue, and another man were attacked in their community about 2:05 a.m. Saturday.

They were found in a yard suffering from gunshot wounds.

Clarke was pronounced dead at hospital and the other man admitted.

Though it was not clear whether the incidents are connected, yesterday’s attack has lawmen and residents concerned that the violence in the community could take another turn.

“The plot twist ... . The fact say a him dem run down … . From he was attacked … ,” a senior policeman said on learning that Sunday’s incident almost claimed the life of a well-connected strongman from the community who controls the work site where the triple murder took place.

“After dem kill the man dem, everybody a try tek weh demself, and him run and the shooter a fire on him … . Any side him sleep on last night, him better sleep pon that same side. A long time me nuh see Grants Pen like this or hear so much shot fire,” a resident said.

As police personnel combed the area, the bodies of two of the men, who were yet to be officially identified, lay at the site while the third individual was rushed to hospital. He later succumbed to his wounds.

“Can tell yourself say Christmas done and it nuh reach yet,” another resident said while speaking to other persons from the community.

MORE THAN 100 ROUNDS FIRED

Speaking with The Gleaner, the residents claimed that more than 100 rounds were fired by the attackers.

“You see the earthquake weh day? A same suh the shot dem a buss. Man dem go back home empty… . Dem empty everything over deh,” an alleged eyewitness said.

The Gleaner understands that one of the dead men was hearing impaired.

“Him nuh hear too well, so him probably there working, and when him realise what happening, [it] was too late,” a resident said.

He and others looking on at the scene painted a grim picture of the days ahead.

“From dem transfer [Detective Constable Craig] Davis me know this did a go happen. From the youth dem know him move, dem a go start dem foolishness and see it deh. Count how much murder and shootings take place. When he was here, as much as they say this and that, the place was under control. What now? Dawg nyam we supper,” one of the concerned residents told The Gleaner.

The gunmen believed to be involved in Sunday’s deadly shooting were later held in another section of St Andrew.

“They crashed in the Richmond Park area and police found the vehicle abandoned. It appears that they hijacked a car which was later intercepted by the police. Four men were taken into custody and a firearm was reportedly found,” a senior investigator who wished not to be identified told The Gleaner.

The Major Investigation Division is probing Sunday’s killing.

The St Andrew North Police Division has recorded a 19 per cent decline in murders since the start of the year.

As at August 26, the police had recorded 34 murders, down eight from the 42 persons killed during the period in 2022.

The national murder toll at the time was 899, which represents an 11 per cent decline year on year.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com