Thu | Jun 13, 2024

Havannah Heights horror

Children, mom shot in home attack as father slain

Published:Thursday | December 16, 2021 | 8:40 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
The family home in Havannah Heights that was attacked on Tuesday night.
The family home in Havannah Heights that was attacked on Tuesday night.

Tuesday night's attack on a family of four in Havannah Heights, Clarendon, is a stark and chilling reminder of the predawn quadruple murder in the community on September 12.

Residents in the southwestern Clarendon community have been on tenterhooks since the murder of two sisters, their nephew, and another relative that jolted the country, with stakeholders beckoning for increased police presence in the community.

The latest attack has left a family patriarch 43-year-old Mark 'Chappa' Ricketts dead. His spouse and children aged three and nine were hospitalised in serious condition.

Reports are that about 7:25 p.m., Ricketts was entering his home when he was pounced upon by a gunman who opened fire.

The Gleaner understands that the three-year-old boy was shot in the head.

Up to Wednesday evening, there were no updates on the family's status.

Stakeholders in the parish have condemned the attack.

Winston Maragh, mayor of May Pen, said he is saddened by yet another brutal attack in Havannah Heights. He is urging the police to apprehend the perpetrators.

“I would also like to appeal to the warring factions within that community, as well as other warring factions in other communities that are constantly killing each other, to desist from doing so. Calm down and see how best they can work things out amicably,” he said.

Lothan Cousins, member of parliament for Clarendon South Western, has called on the Government to implement a “clearly thought-out and articulated crime plan”.

The MP, who was one of five opposition lawmakers who voted against the extension of states of emergency in November, called for greater partnership between the community and security forces.

“It also underscores the importance of investments in the social infrastructure within these communities to deal with the root causes of crime and violence as well as the need for the Government to increase its investment in acquiring the necessary tools to aid in the crime-fighting efforts,” Cousins told The Gleaner on Wednesday.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Anton-Gur Cardoza, who oversees operations in the parish, has made an appeal to anyone with information to contact the police.

Persons may contact the May Pen police at 876-986-2208, Crime Stop at 311, or the nearest police station.

As at December 11, one hundred and one people have been murdered in Clarendon. This is a 7.4 per cent increase compared to 94 homicides for the corresponding period last year.

olivia.brown@gleanerjm.com