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Killings shock St Andrew community

'Heinous' and 'tragic' are how Senior Superintendent Kirk Ricketts, commanding officer of the St Andrew South Police Division, described the murder of two brothers and their cousin at their home in 69 Lane off Chisholm Avenue, Kingston.

"We believe that it was perpetrated by gang members. We are currently working with the residents of the community to get to the bottom of this. Chisholm Avenue has been relatively quiet since the start of the year. We have had reports of gunshots, we know there are residential gangs in the space, so yesterday's incident was a total shocker," Ricketts told THE STAR.

The deceased have been identified as 27-year-old Alex Ricketts, his brother -- 30-year-old Nava Ricketts, otherwise called 'Fatta', and their cousin, 48-year-old Ricardo Henry, otherwise called 'Rasta'. Reports are that about 1:15 a.m., gunmen entered the premises and ordered the victims to go to a different house in the yard. There the assailants opened gunfire hitting them several times before they escaped in the area. The police were summoned and the men were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead.

The effect of the murder was evident when the news team visited the community, as residents stayed indoors and the few who ventured beyond the safety of their gates did not engage the media.

"We shock up 'bout it man. A three yute weh work. One a dem a plaster man, dem nuh involved in nothing. This a nuh something weh happen round here, believe me," one elderly resident said, before adding that family members of the deceased have since left the community.

Ricketts theorised that the incident may be stemming from "some issues as far back as two years ago". Two men have been asked to report to the Hunts Bay Criminal Investigations Branch for questioning by noon today.

"We have increased our presence strategically in an effort to prevent any reprisals or counter-reprisal stemming from this incident. We want to encourage residents to work with us because it's not going to take the police officers alone; it won't be enough," Ricketts shared.