SEVERAL persons, including key figures in the entertainment industry, yesterday gathered in Half-Way-Tree, the St Andrew capital, to pray for their colleague Oneil Edwards.
Edwards, a member of the popular group Voicemail, was shot multiple times as he entered his Belloc Avenue home in Duhaney Park, Kingston at approximately 1:00 yesterday morning.
He was rushed to the Kingston Public Hospital where — up until press time last night — his condition was listed as critical.
Edwards’ neighbours said he was hit in the back of the head by one of the bullets.
“I just really hope that he makes it, trust me,” said one woman who, along with other residents, had gathered outside the singer’s home.
“Him never look good this morning; it look very serious. I am just praying that he will pull through,” continued the woman, who said Edwards was found lying in a pool of blood in his backyard.
There was speculation that the gunmen may have attempted to rob the singer, as two men were seen running from the area following the explosions.
As news of the shooting spread yesterday, a handful of entertainers and well-wishers gathered outside the Nelson Mandela Park in Half-Way-Tree and prayed for the entertainer.
Many openly condemned the shooting.
“The incident was not called for, and I definitely disrespect anyone who feel that they should shoot an artiste for no reason,” said dancehall entertainer Beenie Man, whose correct name is Moses Davis.
“If it is a robbery, all you have to do is show us a gun because whatever it is we can get it back. You never had to shoot the man,” he added.
Singers Tami Chynn and Alaine said they were hopeful Edwards would recover.
“It’s just very sad. I can’t believe that this has happened. Oneil is one of the nicest and most positive people you will ever meet on any given day and we are really praying for him and his family that he will pull through,” Chin said.
“Oneil is my friend, a wonderful person, who I love and it broke my heart when I got the news. But I am a believer in the power of God and His power is working; Oneil is going to be healed,” Alaine added.
Entertainer Mr Vegas offered: “It’s something that touches everybody because it’s the whole Voicemail crew, not only Oneil. We come out here this morning to keep this prayer meeting because only God answers prayer, and the only thing we can do right now is pray.”
According to Delamar and Renegade, members of the dancehall duo RDX, Edwards’ shooting should serve as a wake-up call for all entertainers.
“This could happen to anyone of us and it goes to show that it shouldn’t take things like this for artistes to unite,” said Renegade. “Entertainers are ‘bad-minding’ each other and feel it is a joke thing, not knowing that there are elements working against us artistes.”
Sound system selector Foota Hype said Edwards “is a vibrant supporter of dancehall”.
“Wherever I’m playing he is always there and it is really sad to hear this. But I know he will pull through; he is a good person with a good heart.”
Recording artiste Tifa added: “He is not in violence, he is always encouraging artistes, lending a helping hand, so it’s just sad. But the prayers don’t stop here for him.”