KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 16, CMC – At least three people were killed and three others injured during rival gangs went on a shooting spree over the weekend.
Police in the St. Andrew North area confirmed that 32-year-old Ava-Gaye Ward was shot several times on Sunday, adding to the murders of Paul Jackson, 49, and 26-year-old Dwain Rodman who, along with three other men were shot at a nearby bar on Friday night
“The activities that we have been seeing in these two communities are between two rival gangs. It has nothing to do with the residents or persons traversing in and around the communities,” Deputy Superintendent of Police George McFarlane told the Jamaica Observer newspaper.
“These are gang members who are killing each other and who are shooting at each other; it has nothing to do with the residents themselves. So we just want to reassure persons that we will do everything possible to deal with these gang members,” he added.
Police said Ward, a higgler, was shot in the back, hip, abdomen, and right palm and that her murder may have been to avenge the July 5 murders of Denver Pink, 38, and Latisha Rich, 23.
Jackson was also chased and shot, allegedly by a lone gunman and the police believe that the incident may have been linked to the death of Rodman.
The three other victims, which included a 17-year-old, are said to be in serious condition at hospital.
Police said that a curfew has since been imposed in the Grants Pen community as investigators probe the murders.
Last year Jamaica recorded 1, 125 murders and so far this year, the death toll has surpassed 250. In 2005, Jamaica had 1,674 murders.
A United Nations study on the Caribbean said Jamaica has had the world’s third-highest murder rate over the past decade, with about 60 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.