Sat | Jul 11, 2020

Fear, grief grip west Kingston after children murdered

Published:Sunday | May 17, 2020 | 9:18 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
The apartment on Dumfries Street in Denham Town, west Kingston, where eight-year-old Toya Brown was shot and killed by a lone gunman on Wednesday.
The apartment on Dumfries Street in Denham Town, west Kingston, where eight-year-old Toya Brown was shot and killed by a lone gunman on Wednesday.

Tears flowed yesterday down the face of Donaree Anderson, cousin of 15-year-old Nyron Taylor, one of two children shot dead in west Kingston hours apart on Wednesday.

Eight-year-old Toya Brown was the other child killed just days into the month dedicated to protecting, celebrating, and uplifting children.

The police say that warring factions in the area are behind wanton murders and shootings in the space, and they are probing whether the two incidents are related.

“Mi devastated because him a nuh somebody weh give trouble and so,” a mournful Anderson told The Gleaner yesterday as she leaned against a column for support. “I haven’t eaten from yesterday (Wednesday).”

Reports are that Taylor was killed before noon while riding his bicycle on Last Street in Denham Town.

Anderson said she was baffled by the news as Taylor was no stranger to the area and was on his regular run to collect money from his father, who lives in the area of the community where he was killed.

She added that Taylor’s mom is particularly devastated as he was her only child.

“You can ask anybody bout him. Him fly him kite and ride him bicycle,” she said, sorrowfully.

Anderson’s 13-year-old son, who was close to Taylor, was seated in the yard, donning Taylor’s Manchester United jersey even though he is a Barcelona fan.

“I miss him. We had a fight two days ago and mi sorry ‘bout it,” he told The Gleaner. “This is not my team, but I am wearing it because of him.”

Anderson said she was aware of the shooting of eight-year-old Toya Brown hours later, but she doubted that the incidents were connected.

Brown was reportedly shot by a lone gunman as she sat in the company of others on a verandah at about 5:30 p.m.

Yesterday when our news team visited Brown’s home on Dumfries Street in Denham Town, residents said that fear had gripped the area since the incident and they were trying to save the kids that are left.

“Go in!” a shopkeeper screamed at her children who attempted to venture outside.

“Every minute dem come outta nowhere and kill, so we affi tell the kids to stay in,” she pointed out.

Brown’s grandfather, who was being comforted by friends, was too grief-stricken to speak with our news team.

WICKEDNESS

“Whole heap a tings a gwan, and is like the authorities dem nuh want it get out. A nuh now children a dead in a west Kingston. It start to become the norm. Then it turn nine-day talk then that’s it ... ,” one resident said. “People see Toya shooter. Dem know a who do it. You come and see pickney and still fire? That a wickedness.”

Member of Parliament Desmond McKenzie is offering a $300,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the shooting deaths.

“ ... It seems, based on what they are saying, it is a part of an ongoing feud between warring factions within the Denham Town community,” Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay told The Gleaner yesterday, adding that the incidents were still being investigated.

The police report the seizure of two firearms and one arrest in connection with the killing of the younger child.

Up to May 2 this year, murders have soared in the division by more than 52 per cent, moving from 21 to 32, year-on-year.

andre.williams@gleanerjm.com