GRANGE HILL, Westmoreland — Security Minister Horace Chang said yesterday that the country’s crime problem has “hit a new low” as he condemned Tuesday night’s massacre by rampaging gunmen that left seven dead and 10 injured in this western parish.
However, Dr Chang — just more than one month into the job as security minister — promised an all-out effort to nab the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“…It is extremely disturbing to see a 12-year-old and a two-year-old [losing their lives like that]. I can only say we have hit a new low in terms of the brutality of the criminals involved. As a country, we have to take note of that and act on it,” said Dr Chang.
He announced that additional personnel from the security forces ill be deployed on the ground in Westmoreland, which has recorded 57 murders since the start of the year, 10 more than the corresponding period last year.
“We are going to protect the citizens of Jamaica and the people of Westmoreland, and we are committed; so, too, are the hard-working members of the security teams to be assignned here by the commanding officers to do the job. It is a very serious matter,” the security minister said during a tour of the area yesterday.
Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson also promised to go after the culprits.
“We know that there are really some bad persons around, and that they are willing to put themselves to great risk just to carry out reprisals. There is no shortage of guns and they have no shortage of ammunition, and there’s certainly no shortage of will on their part. It means that our response has to have equal resolve. We have to be as agile as they are; we will be conducting a lot of operations to deal with this matter, not just here, but generally in other places across the country,” said the police chief.
The deceased have been identified as: 22-year-old Tristan Brown; 21-year-old Joyan Myrie; Odane Drummond, otherwise called Ziggy; Nadine Rowe, and her 11-year-old child Nicoy Bourne; Sheldon Morgan Sr, and his two-year-old son, Sheldon Morgan Jr.
The police have theorised that a fall-out in the deadly lottery scamming operation was the root cause of the bloody onslaught in four separate gun attacks, in the Sterling, Fullersfield and Top Lincoln sections of Grange Hill on Tuesday.