1,638 Jamaicans dead in 2005

With less than 72 hours remaining in 2005, Jamaica police statistics indicate that 1,638 Jamaicans have been murdered since January, a figure which represents an increase of 167 when compared with the corresponding period last year.

Nicoy Richards, a 23-year-old man who was on the Manchester police’s most wanted list, is among the latest casualties. He was murdered on Monday night by gunmen in the African Gardens area of August Town, St. Andrew.

Richard’s one-year-old son was hit during the attack. According to the police, the infant’s left arm was blown off by bullets fired from one of the gunmen’s high-powered rifles.

The Gleaner understands that shortly after 10:00 p.m., a number of heavily-armed men invaded Richard’s home and sprayed it with bullets. When the police arrived at the scene, Mr. Richard’s body was found in a pool of blood, along with the injured infant. The mother of the child was not at home.

August Town is one of the communities that has been under the microscope of the police over the past two years. In the past two months, at least three influential gang members have been killed, as the feud between rival factions continues to escalate.

Earlier this year, a Jamaica Defence Force/Operation Kingfish-led raid unearthed over 14 illegal firearms and several hundred rounds of ammunition in the ‘Judgement Yard’ area of August Town. No one was charged in connection with the find.

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