Dwight Nelson, Star Writer
Residents of Water Lane, Clarendon, are living in fear after an alleged failed attempt to kill a murder witness resulted in seven persons being shot, two fatally, at a wake on Thursday night.
Police report that at about 8 p.m. people were at the wake in Banks, Clarendon, when heavily armed men opened fire on the gathering. The two died while the other five were taken to hospital where they were admitted in stable condition.
Sources at the scene told THE STAR that the persons shot were not the intended targets. THE STAR understands that an alleged witness of the murder of five people in Water Lane last year was at the wake and gunmen were trying to get him.
In December, five persons were shot dead and a teenage girl abducted and raped causing several residents to move out of Water Lane. Those killed in that incident were Lerline Lewis, 41; Shamar Davis, 21; Delroy Riley, 48; Deloris Green, 32, and Daniel Parkinson, 40, all from Water Lane.
Residents alleged that gunmen entered the house, where the wake was being held, in search of the witness and when he was not found they opened fire on the residents, shooting some.
Dead is bus conductor Shevon Rivers, 21, of Banks and Tennyson Cunningham, 17, also of Banks. Injured are two females ages 24 and 36 and three males ages 33 and two 17 year-olds.
In light of this latest attack, residents say that they are afraid to go out at nights for fear of being shot. This is the second attack at a wake within a month.
Mayor of May Pen, Milton Brown, called for help to deal with the increased number of murders in the parish. "These levels of killings in the parish are unacceptable and the authorities need to move urgently in order to stop this growing trend," he said.
In addition, he said that if crime was allowed to continue then it would also affect the development of the parish. "If the levels of violence continues to trend in this way it can have a serious impact on the development of the parish," he said.
But, while the mayor called for help, the murders in the parish continue to increase with yet another person being killed yesterday.
According to CCN liaison officer for the parish constable Georgia Richards, "about 10:30 Friday morning Jason Francis and another man was on a construction site in Bucks Common when a car drove up and men alighted firing shots hitting both persons. Francis died on the spot while the other man was rushed to the hospital where he was admitted in serious condition. Close inspection of Francis' body by the police revealed that Francis also sustained several stabs wounds."
The Clarendon Homicide Unit is investigating both cases of murders and shooting.