It was like a movie - August Town residents fearful following shootings

February 20, 2018
Following yesterday shooting in August Town, a man is seen balancing a drum on his head.
A cop holds on tightly to a suspect in the shooting of five persons in August Town yesterday.
The closed gates of the August Town Primary School.

"It was like a scene from a movie. Man just lay down on him belly and take on the crowd and the police. Jah know star, is a good ting mi always walk with my little blue book or else mi woulda be a dead man today," a male resident of August Town said after kissing his New Testament Bible.

Still shaken up by the happenings, the young man still managed to tell THE STAR about the incidents that claimed the life of 35-year-old David Stewart, a correctional officer at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre in Kingston.

The August Town resident said he was with a large crowd that had gathered in the street after the 'smoke' cleared from a shooting that occurred just minutes before.

"The man dem inna di middle a di road a buss up shot. One a dem all down pon him belly like a show ting. Is like the man dem time di crowd and just come out a yard and a bare shot. The police dem start fire back pon dem and a so mi almost get shot 'cause the bullet just pass me face so, and mash out di wall. Mi miss it by the skin a mi teeth," he said, pointing to the side of his face.

The latest shooting comes a few weeks after a quadruple murder at a bar in the community.

However, for a little more than a year August Town celebrated being a murder-free community. Unfortunately, the residents said that the peace was shattered earlier this year with the shooting death of a man, who the residents described as a 'good youth'.

"From him dead, the place turn upside down because man get dead back, and a just bare reprisal start gwaan. Bwoy, it look like a di embalming oil di man dem a tek like MoBay man dem because dem just get heartless. The oil must be working man," a small business operator told THE STAR.


Residents fearful


Although there is a high presence of police and soldiers in the area, some of the residents remain fearful.

"A only the duppy dem alone and madman walk a night time. All six o'clock my business lock up," the business woman said.

Similar sentiments were echoed by a taxi driver and a barber in the neighbouring Bryce Hill community, who said that they have also been affected by the violence.

"Mi usually wake up and touch di road all 4:30 [in the morning], but right now me nah budge because nobody nuh really come out so early again," the cab driver explained.

Also badly affected by the spate of violence are the children of August Town Primary School. Principal of the institution Marlton Wilson said the incident occurred during the devotion period.

"A teacher had just prayed for a group of students who are down to take the GSAT exams and then the shooting start. The children were scared. Some of them while running for cover fell. The entire staff is shaken up by all of this," he said.

Wilson said he is hoping that the community will return to normal and peaceful activities soon.

"Last Monday and Tuesday, we had to cancel our sports day activities because of the war, and as the kids returned to school, classes had to be dismissed prematurely. Things just can't continue like this," he said.

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