Sat | Jul 11, 2020

Olympic Gardens residents cower in fear after triple murder - Eight Bloody Sunday killings take toll to 306

Published:Tuesday | March 24, 2020 | 12:20 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter

Lockdown.

But this time, it wasn’t only the state ban on mass gatherings and business closures ordered to counter transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A section of Olympic Gardens was transformed into a virtual ghost town yesterday, just over 24 hours after 33 McKinley Crescent was rocked by a triple murder.

Fearful residents said that they were staying off the streets.

“A bare innocent man dead Sunday. A shop dem go all of them who get shot deh one place and di car drive up. Man with M16 come out and another one with a handgun and just start fire,” a community member told The Gleaner.

An eyewitness who was still visibly shaken yesterday recounted the terror of the mass shooting.

“Me familiar with all of them who died and mi nuh know none of dem as nuh gunslinger … ,” the witness told The Gleaner.

“Mi hear di shot dem and duck. Dem just come to shoot anybody.”

The deceased men have since been identified as Chrismar Hydol, 31, of 50 Simmonds Park; 32-year-old Meschado ‘Niney’ Smith, of 110B Bay Farm Road; and David Acher, 36, higgler, of 20 Simmonds Avenue.

Police reports are that about 9:05 a.m., the men were shot and killed by unknown assailants while standing at a shop in the community.

A fourth person was also shot and injured but remained in hospital up to yesterday.

There was another killing in the area last week, but it is unclear if the shootings are connected.

Not even the cars parked on the roadway were spared on Sunday morning, as at least two motor vehicles were riddled with bullets.

The police have reportedly increased patrols in the wake of the triple killing.

Attempts to speak with the head of the St Andrew South Police Division, Superintendent Wayne Cameron, were unsuccessful, as calls to his cell phone went to voicemail.

The triple killing in St Andrew South was a snapshot of the wave of deadly violence that swept four parishes on Sunday, with a total of eight persons, including a child, being murdered and several others injured.

The murders, which happened between 9:05 a.m. and 5:14 p.m., occurred across St Andrew, St James, Westmoreland and Kingston.

Three hundred and six murders were committed in Jamaica as at March 21, a 2.3 per cent rise year-on-year. There were 299 murders for the corresponding period in 2019.

St Andrew South, 35; Clarendon, 31; St Andrew North, 28; St Catherine South, 28; and St Andrew Central, 24, round out the top five murderous police divisions this year.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com