Killings push Ja murder rate to 463

The brutal killing of two common-law couples in St. James and St. Andrew Jamaica have pushed the number of persons murdered since January to at least 463.

In what has been described as a ‘bizarre and heinous act’ in Norwood, St. James, gunmen decapitated a man after shooting him repeatedly, later placing his head on a stool along a main road in the community yesterday.

According to police reports, this was the third case of double murder in three days.

The St. James police report that about 2:15 a.m. yesterday, three men forced their way into the house of 32-year-old auto mechanic Garfield ‘Gary’ McKenzie, where he and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Taniesha Lawrence, of Bottom Pen, Glendevon, were shot. Lawrence died on the spot.

During the incident, McKenzie was reportedly asked to hand over guns before he was dragged from the premises and beheaded. His headless body was dumped into a nearby yard, while candles were later lit around his head for all to see.

When The Gleaner visited the community, scores of residents scampered, refusing to speak to the news team. They claimed that they would be labelled ‘informers’ by the gun-toting criminals who have terrorised the area.

“Is not two, four or 20 shot fire, is about fifty,” a woman said between sobs. “Me get down and all me lie down it come in like the tile a move with me. A pure brah-brah-brah-brah-brah-brah. Is just Friday them kill a young man round here.”

At least 57 persons have been killed in St. James since the start of this year.

Yesterday, the quiet rural district of Golden Hill, near Stony Hill, St. Andrew, was stunned after police discovered the bodies of businessman Ricardo Campbell and his girlfriend, Camiesha Anderson, at their one-bedroom house.

The police were alerted to the scene yesterday after passers-by made the observation that the couple’s car door was left open. Upon investigation, the two were found with gunshot and stab wounds.

Police investigators believe they may have been murdered Friday evening. A woman who identified herself as one of Ms. Anderson’s relatives said she last spoke with her sometime after 4:00 p.m. on Friday.

It is suspected that they were held up and robbed, then killed by the gunmen who had earlier intercepted them.

Last year a record 1,679 Jamaicans were murdered.

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