Coronation Market murder scares away customers
Vendors at the Coronation Market in downtown, Kingston, are now fearing for their safety and the future of their livelihood, after one of their own was murdered in plain sight yesterday morning.
Peter Nelson, a 49-year-old vendor who has been selling in the market for some 30 years, was gunned down minutes before 8 a.m., just as he was putting out his ground provisions for sale, eyewitnesses said. His murder follows a flare up of violence downtown, believed to be linked to gang violence. On Friday, two men were killed and four others injured by gunshots, while on Monday night, a shooting left two men nursing gunshot wounds. Now, Nelson’s colleagues, who described him as an honest, hardworking man, are left feeling very uneasy about their own well being and the toll the violence is taking on their sales.
“You see when the shooting reach inna the market, a one of the worse things. We suffer in here because people a listen, them a read the paper, and see it on the TV, so the customers nah turn out. Look how the market dead,” said 50-year-old Debralyn Coleman, who has been selling there for over 30 years. Coleman added that plenty of her produce such as grapes, tomatoes, and pines, have been rotting on her, as the gang war is scaring customers. She said she is calling for the warring factions to make peace, because that’s the only way the problem will be solved. Eustas Fisher,76, who has been vending for some 60 years, said he fears for his life, and longs for the market to return to how it was years ago when lawmen manned the facility.
Protected by God
“The market is under no protection like olden time days. People couldn’t even come in here without shirt. People couldn’t ride bicycle, dog couldn’t come in. Me feel like anything can happen to anybody at all, and you no have nobody fi protect we,” Fisher said. However, Gean Douglas, 73, said the violence does not affect her, because she is protected by God, and all will be solved if everyone turns to Him.
“What is going on, no police can stop it, because if you don’t turn to God, it will not solve. And if you live peacefully and don’t dip into people business, then you will survive here, but most of them not doing that,” Douglas said.