Turmoil in MoBay

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – One man was shot dead, another shot and injured and several vendors and shoppers left traumatised Tuesday afternoon when gunmen invaded the popular ‘shoes market’ at the corner of Creek and Union streets, in downtown Montego Bay, and fired several shots.

The dead man, who was shot several times in his face, has been identified as 38-year-old vendor Michael Nesbeth, also known as ‘Scorcher Blacks’, of a Ros address, in Montego Bay. The injured man, who was shot in his abdomen, was admitted to the Cornwall Regional Hospital in a stable condition.

According to reports, at about 4:15 p.m., Nesbeth was sitting on a stool in front of his stall when an unknown number of gunmen pounced upon him and opened fire. As the other vendors and shoppers fled in panic, the second man was apparently hit as he ran across the line of fire.

“Me just hear ‘blam blam’ and when me turn round me see Scorcher falling backwards off the stool with him face mash up,” said a vendor, whose stall is located in close proximity to that of the deceased. “From me se dat me start run.”

When The Gleaner team arrived on the scene, traffic was completely blocked off by a large crowd, which converged on the scene in the vicinity of the market. Several persons, including a visitor to the island, had to flee for their lives, some losing their shoes as they fled.

Yesterday’s shooting, which unfolded before several children heading home from school, marks the third murder in the western city in two days and the 10th since the start of the year.

“This is downtown Montego Bay … this is where our visitors shop … this is absolute madness,” said a merchant, who asked not to be identified. “I am thinking seriously of closing my business and leaving Jamaica.”