Horror Scene: Murder of Jamaica Couple Recounted
The murder of a Jamaica couple and the wounding of six others at an illegal party in Spring Gardens, Westmoreland, Sunday night, may have been planned as the criminals had conducted a reconnaissance of the venue hours before, a survivor of the bloody attack told the Jamaica Observer.
According to the survivor, the gunmen had surveyed the venue early in the evening and left. They returned later, ordered a cigarette and Magnum, after which they turned their guns on Sherece Murray, hitting her in the upper body, before taking a bag with cash garnered from the illegal event.
They then shot her spouse, 31-year-old Marshall Gayle, took a bag of cash from his body as well, while patrons, some of whom were also shot, ran out of their slippers and sandals.
On Monday the Westmoreland police said that, while the killers had taken the bags with money, several leads, including lottery scamming, are being examined as the motive for the murder of the couple, which was committed about 8:45 pm.
“We are not concluding at this point that the robbery is the motive. What we are saying is that there are several avenues that we are pursuing in terms of investigations to include some connection to illicit lottery scamming,” a police source told the Observer.
Member of Parliament for Westmoreland Western Morland Wilson, who visited the family of the deceased on Monday, is asking residents to share whatever they know with the police.
Wilson said Spring Gardens is a quiet, peaceful community that is currently in transition from farming, including the growing of sugar cane, to the hosting of entertainment events.
“A lot of persons may have ventured into entertainment as a means of survival. What I gathered had happened is that these individuals [Gayle and Murray] were having an event as an income-generating activity,” stated Wilson.
He reiterated his call for the implementation of a state of public emergency in the parish, adding that, while the current zone of special operation (ZOSO) that was implemented in Savanna-la-Mar South is working, some criminals may have migrated from that area.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness had declared the ZOSO for the areas of “Russia”, Dalling Street, and Dexter Street on January 16 in response to increasing acts of violence that have earned Westmoreland the dubious distinction of being one of the police divisions with the highest murder figures last year.
“What is happening here is not good, because if you notice, they have controlled the crime situation in Savanna-la-Mar, but now it is Westmoreland and Whitehouse that have it. So it is a situation that I think that the police need to get a hold of,” stated Wilson.
Marked for death Jamaica Observer