Spring Garden, Westmoreland Killers Marked The Area Before Attacking

The assailants, who invaded an illegal party in Spring Garden, Westmoreland on Sunday night, are said to have scouted the area hours before they made their deadly attack. Their attack led to two persons being shot and killed while six others were wounded around 8:45 pm. The reports of their reconnaissance came from a survivor who recalled them inspecting the venue early in the evening and then left. 

The survivor claimed the gunmen return and ordered a cigarette and Magnum. Afterwards, they opened fire on Sherece Murray, shooting her upper body, and ceased a bag of money that was collected from the event.

Following this, the killers shot Murray’s spouse who is 31-year-old Marshall Gayle and removed the bag of cash he had. It was during this time while the patrons were trying to escape by even running out of their sandals, some of them were shot and injured.

The Westmoreland police stated to the Observer on Monday that even though the criminals stole the money, multiple leads, which included lottery scamming, were being thoroughly investigated as a motive for the murder of the couple.

Also on Monday, Morland Wilson, a member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, visited the deceased couple’s family and pleaded to the residents to share any information they might have with the police. Wilson reported that Spring Garden is a peaceful community progressing from farming crops like sugar cane to hosting entertainment events.

In addition, Wilson mentioned that it was to his understanding that the couple was hosting the event as a means of generating income. He also emphasized the fact that the parish needs a state of public emergency. He mentioned that even though the current zone of special operation (ZOSO) was effective in Savanna-La-Mar, some criminals may have evacuated that area.

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On January 16th ZOSO was put in place by Prime Minister Andrew Holness for the areas of Russia, Dalling Street and Dexter Street. This was due to the soaring crime rate in Westmoreland, which placed the parish at the top for murders committed last year.

Wilson went on to state that the crime in Savanna-La-Mar was under control, but now Westmoreland and Whitehouse were being targeted. He reasoned that multiple rural communities are targeted because these criminals believed there are no security guards, hence no protection.

Meantime, an anonymous police officer pleaded to promoters and patrons to stop engaging in these illegal events. He explained that aside from the issue of breaching the COVID-19 protocols, there is the issue of violence. He added that persons were endangering themselves when the police aren’t aware of events being held.

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