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Five murders in four days in western Jamaica

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2022 | 12:15 AMHopeton Bucknor - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Five persons have been killed across western Jamaica over the past four days.

The most recent incidents occurred between Friday night into Saturday morning as three men were shot dead and two left injured in separate incidents in the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland.

Those killed have been identified as 28-year-old Ryon Dunkley, a bike taxi operator from Orange Bay; 39-year-old Garrett Phillips, otherwise called ‘Twinner’, a musician from Cadwell district – both from Green Island, Hanover; and 39-year-old Junior Francis, otherwise called ‘Plumber’, a construction worker of Bacchas Field in Westmoreland.

Phillips and a group of men were standing outside a bar in the Green Island community about 8:15 p.m., when a motor vehicle drove up. The occupants of the car opened fire on the men, hitting Phillips and two others, before speeding away.

The victims were taken to Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, where Phillips was pronounced dead and the other two men admitted.

In the other incident, about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dunkley was at home with family members when men armed with handguns kicked the front door open and held them at gunpoint. They then opened fire, hitting Dunkley multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The bullet-riddled body of the third murder victim, Francis, was discovered lying in a pool of blood along the roadway in Bacchas Field about 5 a.m. on Saturday.

Earlier in the week, 40-year-old Dwayne Russell, otherwise called ‘Samson’, a farmer of Spring Gardens in Kensington, St James; and 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Dixon, otherwise called ‘Man Frame’ of Tucker Irwin, were both shot and killed in the parish of St James.

Russell was killed on his farm about 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday while Dixon was gunned down along the Retirement main road about 5:30 in the afternoon.

Since the start of the year, 176 persons have been murdered across western Jamaica, with all four western parishes seeing an increase in murders compared to last year.

The parish of St James has accounted for 91 murders since the start of the year, Westmoreland, 50; Trelawny, 16; and Hanover, 19.