Bullets fly near KPH - Vendor among victims as war rages outside ZOSO

March 03, 2018
Joy Blake, 56, of Luke Lane, Kingston, was shot and killed by unknown assailants while she was in her shop, which is located at the intersection of Princess and North streets, yesterday.

Vendors, hospital workers and persons living in close vicinity to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) are fearful that they might lose their lives following a spate of shootings in the past few days.

Joy Blake, 56, of Luke Lane, Kingston, was shot and killed by unknown assailants while she was in her shop, which is located across the road from the KPH yesterday morning.

Blake's shooting follows the death of another man, Owen Powell, who was killed along Princess Street, not far from the hospital on Thursday. Residents theorise that his death may be linked to an attack on the life of a member of the Denham Town, west Kingston, community, in August 2017.

Meanwhile, a grieving relative yesterday said Blake is the second member of the family to be murdered in months.

"Mi nuh know if a true dem come kill har son inna December, dem come back come kill her. We nuh know the reason why dem kill har," the relative said.

"Mi feel very bad cause a wah day yah har son dead and now this again. It sad. Wi just lost one and now this again."

And while they could not come up with a reason for the killing, some members of a nearby community say they have to be very vigilant to protect their lives.

"Wi live inna di community and wi fraid cause war a gwaan everyweh. Wi just haffi ask father God fi have mercy," one resident said.

A vendor, who sells just outside the hospital, said she is concerned by the number of shootings that have been taking place. She, however, said that she will continue to sell at the spot from which she earns her bread.




"Mi nuh live dung yah but mi come dung ya fi hustle, suh mi nuh know the reason behind all a this. And although anything can happen, mi still a come see if me can get some sales," she said.

Residents told The STAR that the latest flare-up near the KPH is linked to ongoing dispute in Denham Town, which is a zone of special operations.

A resident of Denham Town told THE STAR that there have been regular violent clashes across the ZOSO.

"Bottle a fling, people a acid dem one another, and people a get chop up with knife and 'lass. Mi nuh really know wah really a gwaan but people a war same way inna di ZOSO," she said.

The police have acknowledged that there are issues in the zone. According to Senior Superintendent Everald Linton, there have been disputes in the Denham Town ZOSO.

"There have been instances where we have stone throwing and stuff like that, but, in all those cases, the police have taken action. If it is a case where people are to be arrested, they are arrested and taken before the court," he said.

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