Nine-year-old is 22nd child killed this year

This sign at St Peter Claver Primary School (inset) informs parents and students that school is closed because of a lack of running water yesterday.

The life of yet another Jamaican child has been snuffed out by gunmen who continue to blaze a bloody trail across the island.

Nine-year-old Moesha Campbell, a student of the St Peter Claver Primary School, became child murder victim number 22 when she died in hospital Monday night after doctors spent more than three hours trying to save her life.

The police report that about 8 Monday evening Moesha and friends were playing in a yard on Wavell Avenue off Waltham Park Road in the Corporate Area when explosions were heard. It was later discovered that she had been shot in the head.

“Is just that a man deh pon the road and him si a group of men and say why dem a pree him. The man dem hear and say how him deh pon dem ends and a give dem tough chat and then pure shot start buss,” a source told The Gleaner.

“Moesha was playing in the yard at 34 Wavell Avenue but when she hear the shot dem she start run next door where she always stay in the evenings. She get shot in her head and drop just outside the gate,” the source added.

Violent upsurge

It was a similar story from the police who said they increased patrols in the area after a gang feud developed.

“There has been an upsurge of violence in the area in recent weeks as thugs from Mandela Terrace and Upper Waltham Park Road have been at odds,” Michael Phipps, crime chief for the police Area Four, told The Gleaner.  “It is believed that men from these communities were engaged in a shoot-out when the little girl was shot,” Phipps added.

Moesha lived with her parents in Greater Portmore, St Catherine, but would stay with family friends on Wavell Avenue after school until she was picked up by her parents.  Yesterday, residents of Wavell Avenue raised black flags as they remembered the little girl they helped to grow over the past nine years.  “A one of the wickedest acts mi ever si. She was a sweet little girl,” one resident told The Gleaner.

“Me feel it worst because my daughter a eight and it could have been she,” another resident said.  At the nearby St Peter Claver Primary School, classes were out because of a lack of water but Moesha’s parents were present for prayers and counselling with the principal, education ministry officials and the guidance counsellor.

The parents and the school’s principal were not in the mood to talk, but Moesha’s teacher, Rachael Virgo, painted a picture of a hard-working grade-three student full of promise.  “She was very bright, quiet and reserved and self-motivated. Moesha was an above-average student, always early for school and always trying,” Virgo said.

No water, no classes

The Ministry of Water yesterday responded to a desperate plea from the administrators of the St Peter Claver Primary School on Waltham Park Road, Kingston 13, and trucked water to the facility and the neighbouring basic school. But that was too late for students of the primary school who were out of classes yesterday as there was no water in the pipes.

Classes should resume today.

Murdering our children

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