US gangsters trigger Jamaican turf war
The gang violence tearing apart sections of Maxfield Avenue in St Andrew is said to have been triggered by a feud between two dons from the area who currently reside overseas.
The warring has left the residents in fear as there have been several shootings and reprisals, the latest of which occurred last Monday when Paul Allen, 20, and Leopold McIntosh, 80, were killed during a drive-by shooting. A third person was also injured in the incident.
Residents said a recent stabbing in New York, in which one don was injured, is the reason behind the violence.
"A serious things a go gwaan. From hit send out and carry out, a bare reprisal a go tek place. It a go bloody, 'cause we know dem man deh and how dem do things. Just look out fi more bloodshed," a resident said.
The communities border the St Andrew South and Kingston Western police divisions and crime-fighters have been kept busy. Superintendent Howard Chambers, head of the Kingston Western police, is not aware of the origin of the gang war, but said he would not rule out the overseas incident.
"Residents will speak to the media, but they won't tell the police. If that is the case, it might very well be so, because I know of [a particular] individual and he has serious influence in a particular area," Chambers said.
The warring got more terrifying after street lights in the area stopped working. This forced residents to demonstrate on the main road, calling on the Jamaica Public Service to restore power to the street lights, as the attacks are taking place in the nights.
"We need back the lights. We nah go act like people nah tek light illegally, but for the sake of the children and their safety we need the street light," a woman pleaded.
Prior to last Monday's double murder, a man was shot dead as gunmen took advantage of the defunct street lights. Another drive-by shooting then occurred along Ashley Road in which persons were shot and later hospitalised. Residents say all these incidents are related.
Police have since met with JPS representatives in an effort to get the street lights working again, claiming that their responses to the many incidents were severely hampered as the area was extremely dark.