The blood of Jesus saved us - Denham Town residents fearful after gunmen invade community
Denham Town residents are now living in fear after gunmen, allegedly from Tivoli Gardens, invaded sections of the west Kingston community yesterday.
According to the residents, they were shocked when the gunmen came into the area at about 6 p.m. yesterday, and fired several rounds in the presence of the security forces.
They said that the thugs gained access to the community from the entrances that were once guarded by the security forces. They claim that although Denham Town is within the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO), there is weakened security presence in some sections.
When THE STAR visited the community minutes after the incident occurred, the residents said that they were outraged.
"A di blood a Jesus cover me son why dem neva kill him. We see di man dem a come, and call the police dem, and one a dem kiss dem teet. When di man dem pass and start beat shot, me see one a di police dem a chuck and a hide. We need back ZOSO or dem a go kill we off down ya," an irate resident said.
On October 17, Denham Town was declared as the second ZOSO by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in a bid to rid the area of what he described as rampant criminality and widespread gang warfare. It was extended for another 60 days on February 14.
Another resident explained that although there is still a strong security presence in the community, they are not positioned at the right locations.
"The police dem nah leave, but some a the security forces dem a move from some a the entrance dem, so gunman have access and can come in and go out back easily. Right ya now, everybody down here fraid. All the duppy dem gone back ova May Pen Cemetery cause dem nuh wah dead," she said.
COULD NOT COMMENT
However, when THE STAR contacted the commanding officer in the zone, Senior Superintendent Everald Linton, he said he could not comment on the matter until today.
But as members of the security team tried to clear sections of Wellington Street, where a crowd converged yesterday evening, the residents refused to be moved.
"A out here so we a stay tonight cause we nah go lock up inna we house and dead. The police dem nah protect wi no day. Dem quick fi lock we up all when we nuh do nothing, and see man a come fi shell down di place right inna dem eyes. We a stay up and bleach tonight. We nuh inna nothing with no politician either cause right now we a go vote PNP (People's National Party)," another resident shouted.
She added that while ZOSO was put in place to prevent the shots from firing, the criminals have found other means of fighting their battles.
"The crime rate never turn down at all. It did buck because the man dem can't catch dem inna dem zone, so as a man go a road, dem buss him head. Furthermore, even with the police in a the community, the man dem find other means to war than the buss shot. A bare bottle dem bottle out tings and stab up and big stone," she said.
Meanwhile, Jermaine Hyatt, councillor for Denham Town, who was also at the location, was not pleased with yesterday's melee.
"We were told that Denham Town is at the third phase of the zone, which means that things have been smooth. However, a relaxed stage is never good for the community because it has just been a few days and look at what just happened," he said.