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Security minister addresses Hanover killings

Published:Tuesday | June 18, 2024 | 8:20 AM
Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang (third left) and Area One police commander, Senior Superintendent Glenford Miller (second left) assist in lifting a grieving Marlene Nation from the ground as she mourned the death of her son and grandson.

Tears flowed in Hanover communities as families mourned the killing of five men in separate incidents. In Johnson Town, where three men were slain, national security Minister Dr Horace Chang consoled grieving relatives, including Marlene Nation, who lost her son and grandson. Chang firmly rejected the notion that the situation is out of control, acknowledging the need for time and citizen support to restore order.

Blood and tears

Hanover rocked by five murders in under 24 hours

Jamaica Gleaner/15 Jun 2024/Adrian Frater/Gleaner Writer

TEARS FLOWED freely in several Hanover communities yesterday as family and friends mourned the killing of five men.

The men were killed in three separate shooting incidents across the parish between midday on Thursday and early Friday morning.

In the Johnson Town community where three men were killed shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, an elderly grandmother, Marlene Nation, whose son and grandson were among those killed, wept bitterly as she poured out her grief to Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang, who was forced to play ‘consoler-in-chief’, hugging her as her tears flowed down on his shirt.

“Mi son and mi grandson one time, Lord Jesus, that is too much for me to bear, dem not even tek one and left one,” wailed Nation. “How am I going to live now, mi good good son, and mi grandson who inna mi hand from him a six weeks old gone. My God, what a wicked act.”

Those killed in Johnson Town have been identified as 41-yearold Merrick Calvin, his 21-year-old son Merrick Calvin Jr; and 29-yearold Greg Gray, who are all from Johnson Town addresses,

With gunmen seemingly on a killing spree across western Jamaica, the national security minister was quite emphatic in rejecting the perception that things were out of control, albeit admitting that bringing the situation under control will take some time and the support and assistance of law-abiding citizens.

“The situation is not out of control, and we are not out of ideas, the situation was allowed to spread and develop to a point where it will take some time to get under control,” said Chang, who served as a member of parliament in eastern Hanover in the formative years of his political career.

“The police are making progress, but it will take some time. There are too many young men and too many guns available … and too many young men who are willing to kill their friends,” added Chang.

According to reports, the younger of the Calvins, Gray and another man were carrying on construction work inside the building when two men rode up on motorcycles. One alighted from his bike, pulled a firearm and barged in on the men and opened fire on them.

As the shooter was exiting the building, the elder Calvin allegedly drove on the scene, and on seeing what was happening, used his car to hit the gunman, who fell. The gunman reportedly got up from the ground and turned his gun on the father, shooting him multiple times.

The gunman then got on his

crony’s bike and they rode away, leaving the other bike which was damaged by the senior Calvin’s car.

In another murder incident on Thursday night, which took place inside the Lucea Transport Centre at about 2 a.m., unknown assailants allegedly cornered 35-year-old Terron ‘Copper’ Hart of a Lances Bay address and peppered him with bullets, killing him on the spot.

In the other incident, which took place shortly after midday on Wednesday in Green Island, 44-year-old coffin-maker Robert ‘Banner’ Williams was shot and killed by unknown assailants.

Superintendent Andrew Nish, who recently took up the role of police commander for Hanover, said he is ready to bring relief to the embattled residents as no stones will be left unturned in his bid to rattle criminals with his brand of hardcore policing.

“I can promise the people of Hanover that things will be different under my watch. No criminal will be allowed to undermine the major developments that are taking place in the parish,” Nish said.

“We will be pursuing them relentlessly until they are no longer able to pose a threat to the people and the economic life of the parish.”

Nish and his team were on the ball yesterday in the Montpelier community, seizing a chrome .45 pistol and 35 9mm rounds of ammunition and a .45 round, and black Samsung phone, which is believed to have information pertinent to criminal activities. Three persons were arrested in that incident.

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