A wave of gun violence in Spanish Town over the past five days has now intensified with the Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke extradition issue, bringing additional tension to the old capital.
The flare-up began last Thursday night with the shooting of a One Order gang member in a community said to be a stronghold for the rival Clansman gang.
Armed thugs sprayed bullets in the area late Saturday afternoon, hitting 35-year-old Michael Morgan, a higgler of Old Harbour Road, St Catherine, who died while undergoing treatment at the Spanish Town Hospital. Shortly after midnight last Saturday, 38-year-old Trunise James was shot dead and his female companion injured in Gordon Town.
As the violence continued, the community remained tense, even as the police and soldiers swarmed the area in a bid to restore calm. Head of Spanish Town Citizens Against Gun violence, Rosemarie Green, said she was disturbed by the recent upsurge in the town.
Several business operators had to close their doors for the day because of fear for their lives. “There is no governance in Spanish Town and so anything can happen, and people must rise up in whatever way they can,” said Green. Rowan Edwards, president of the Association of Full Gospel Churches, has called for an islandwide cry when the nation would put aside a day for the innocent lives taken by criminals.
“The day must be set for us to send a signal to the criminals that the law-abiding citizens are not prepared to sit and allow the evil influences to take charge,” he said. Superintendent in charge of the St Catherine North Division, Assan Thompson, called for the business community to exercise patience as it carried out its functions.
Thompson also said police presence has been significantly heightened in Spanish Town in order to contain criminal activities linked to the two.