Noel Thompson, Star Writer
Colleen Allen-Smith weeps bitterly as she is being consoled by a friend outside the Madden's funeral home in Montego Bay, after gunmen shot dead her nephew Tajay 'Chad' Malcolm, 14, and his stepfather Jermaine Samuels, 31. Tajay's sister, Pretania Malcolm, was injured. - noel thompson
The daring daylight murder of a man and his stepson and the injuring of his stepdaughter in Montego Bay, yesterday, have earned the wrath of People's National Party caretaker for North West St James, Henry McCurdie.
Dead are Jermaine Samuels, 31, and his stepson Tajay 'Chad' Malcolm, 14, a student of the Mount Salem Junior High School, while injured is Samuels' stepdaughter, Pretania Malcolm, 18. The family members were shot while they were at Pretania's beauty salon.
Gripped with grief
Gripped by grief, McCurdie yesterday said the government must act fast in passing the anti-crime bill being proposed to bring some semblance of order in the country.
Yesterday's killings bring to 159 the number of murders committed in St James since January. There were 119 murders for the corresponding period last year.
"We have all failed the people of this country as politicians. We should all be ashamed. We keep talking and people are dying every day. We have failed to protect the nation and the people. It is sad and we are in trouble. How can we be proud?" he questioned. "The talking cannot continue, or else we might all be dead."
Pounced on at 3 pm
Witnesses say at 3 p.m., the family was pounced on by armed men who opened fire, hitting Samuels and Tajay in the chest. Samuels was cuddling his toddler, but the infant dropped on the floor and was rescued by a passer-by.
The gunmen turned their weapons on Pretania, shooting her in the side. Her mother, The Star understands, jumped through a window to escape being killed.
Shortly after the incident, several residents and relatives from the King Street area swooped down on the Madden's funeral home to mourn the untimely deaths. "Weh mek yuh have fi tek me one 'Chad' from mi. it hot, it hot. mi one and only Chad!" bewailed Colleen 'Charm' Allen-Smith, Chad's aunt.
Wiping the tears from her eyes, Winsome Roache, another aunt, said: "Mi promise to give him someting fi him birthday on September 3, but me was not able to do it. Mi likkle nephew nuh deserve this."