Three killed at JLP meeting
Three people were shot dead as Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters were sent scampering during last night's mass meeting at Sam Sharpe Square.
The shooting was centered along Market Street, which runs off Sam Sharpe Square.
Dr Horace Chang, JLP general secretary, confirmed last night that three men were killed and four others, including a woman, were hospitalised.
One of those killed was identified as Javin Campbell, 20, from Flanker. He died en route to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, where a large crowd gathered last night.
A woman who said she was Campbell's aunt told THE STAR that he received three shots.
Head of the St James police, Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, said the people were shot during a reported altercation.
At approximately 10:18 p.m., while Opposition Leader Andrew Holness was outlining his economic plans, two shots were heard initially, and then three in rapid succession afterwards, following which the crowd started running.
Holness' security detail immediately ran to his side and surrounded him. He was ushered off the stage. The same thing happened with the other JLP personnel minutes later.
"We were part of the gathering, performing our normal policing duties when we heard the shots," said McGregor.
"As you can see, there is a dead man on the side of the road."
When the screaming and scampering ended, a number of persons were seen crying, while others were looking curiously at the man who laid dead on the ground.
He was clad in a jeans pants, a white T-shirt and a JLP shirt tied across his head. The JLP shirt covered part of his face.
UPPER BODY SHOT
It would appear that he was shot in the upper body because his right side was completely bloody.
Prior to the shooting incident, the mood in the historic square was quite jubilant.
Between the various speakers on stage and the sound system operator, the Labourites got to cheer, sing, and dance about.
While it could not be ascertained whether the shooting had anything to do with the ongoing bloodletting in Montego Bay, the western city has been a hotbed of gun violence within recent years.
Since the start of the year, the city has had a total of 13 murders.
Immediately following the shooting, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) issued a release saying it is concerned about the practice of some individuals who are concealing their identities by wearing masks on motorcades and at political and public meetings.
The JCF said while there is no law against it, the practice arouses the suspicion of the police as that is the modus operandi of criminals or persons intending to carry out criminal activities.
The release stated that Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams should meet with the Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown to have it included in the political code of conduct to be signed by the political parties this week.