Crime out of control- Sav mayor - High school student among Westmoreland’s latest murder victims

March 26, 2019
Bertel Moore


Savanna-la-Mar mayor Bertel Moore, is sounding an alarm at Westmoreland’s rising murder tally following the latest rash of killings in the parish, including the shooting death of a student in Negril on Thursday night.

Eighteen-year-old Kehian Pryce, who hailed from Hermitage district in West Point, Negril, and was a student at Green Island High School in Hanover, was shot dead by gunmen at approximately 7 p.m. He was murdered hours after another man, Shamar Gooden of Hopewell, Hanover, was found dead with bullet wounds in the Westmoreland community of Logwood.

Forty-three-year-old businessman Lajuane Bruce, of Dawes Lane in Negril, is also among the parish’s latest casualties.

“Crime is out of control in the parish, and something is definitely wrong. Murder after murder, and now the murder of this Green Island student (Pryce),” said Moore.

“This has to stop! This is getting out of hand! As I’ve said before, the Westmoreland police need more mobility,” Moore added. “We’re now living in a serious crisis within the parish, and I personally think we need more social programmes for the youths. It’s a very sad case, and I don’t know where it’s coming from, but one thing I do know is that it needs to be addressed immediately.”

According to reports, shortly after 7 p.m., on Thursday, Pryce was sitting on a bench in a yard in Hermitage district when two men rode up on a motorcycle.

One of the men alighted from the motorcycle, pulled a handgun and shot Pryce multiple times before escaping. Pryce ran a short distance before collapsing. He was subsequently taken to the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Efforts to get a comment from Green Island High School were unsuccessful.

Earlier in the day, the Whithorn police received reports shortly after 9 a.m. that a group of men was seen beating another man in the Logwood community. On their arrival, they discovered Gooden’s body, which had been set on fire and had multiple gunshot wounds. It was later discovered that Gooden had been missing from his community of Hopewell since Wednesday.

Besides those killings, at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Bruce drove his Mercedes - Benz to a section of Nonpareil Road, in Negril, where he was ambushed and shot to death. The police were summoned, and on their arrival Bruce was slumped around the steering wheel with multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body.

Since the start of the year, 26 persons have been murdered in Westmoreland, and several joint military teams have been deployed in the parish.

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