Sat | Apr 4, 2020

Whitehall teen killed weeks before planned departure

Published:Monday | February 24, 2020 | 12:09 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
David Anthony Johnson, one of two men killed on Wednesday night in Whitehall, St Andrew.
David Anthony Johnson, one of two men killed on Wednesday night in Whitehall, St Andrew.

Travel reservations that a mother had procured for her teenage son to fly to New York on March 7 were aborted last Wednesday after gunmen killed him and another man on Cameron Lane, St Andrew.

Instead, the teen’s mother, Danzalee West-Johnson, flew to Jamaica on Saturday in preparation for burying her son, 19-year-old David Anthony Johnson.

Johnson and 20-year-old carpenter Shamarie Anderson were gunned down by attackers who invaded the Whitehall Avenue community before making their escape.

West-Johnson, who spoke with The Gleaner on Friday via video link from her home in the United States, said she had not eaten and had been having sleepless nights since she got the dreadful news.

“I can swear for my son. Him never take up a gun, him never rob nobody. ... That’s my heartbeat,” she said, crying.

West-Johnson said she last spoke to her son the day before he was killed and pleaded with him to take note of violence swirling in the web of communities spanning Red Hills Road.

“Mi seh, Cash, mi a beg yuh, please. War a gwaan, and mi nuh know wah happen, but can you stay in the house, please? Mi nuh want yuh on the road because it look like anything wear pants dem want fi kill,” West-Johnson told our news team. Cash was her son’s nickname.

Johnson, who operated a family-run shop, was in the process of closing down the establishment when the incident occurred.

The shooting occurred at the same location where retired policeman Garth Tapper narrowly escaped with his life on February 1 after he was shot by gunmen 10 times at his bar along Cameron Lane.

Recent shootings and murders have been linked to a feud by warring factions on Red Hills Road.

Residents, mainly women, said they are cowering in fear as the attackers appear heartless.

“Dem come a bird-hunt because a bare woman deh here, and we nah retaliate. If yuh find 10 men in the lane, it’s 50 women,” a woman said.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com