PEACE! That’s the cry being echoed by the residents of Allman Town in Kingston.
The residents have been on edge since the October 12 murder of 18-year-old Kevonique McCleod, who was shot by gunmen in the community in an incident in which her three-month-old baby was also among four other people shot and injured.
The shooting was said to have occurred sometime after 7:00 pm at the intersection of Great George’s Street and John’s Street.
It is alleged that two men armed with guns jumped from the back of a motor vehicle and started firing, hitting all five who were gathered near the intersection.
The residents claimed that it is being said the murder may have been a reprisal for a previous shooting near New Kingston in St Andrew. The victim of the shooting near New Kingston was said to be a resident of Allman Town.
Now, the people fear more reprisals and said the tension in the community is obvious to everyone and that the situaton is becoming uncomfortable.
“We want peace. We come out in support of eradicating all of the troublemakers. The whole community is being stigmatised. As far as the ears can reach, people are talking about it. All the major players on both sides are well known,” one concerned resident told the Jamaica Observer during an interview last Wednesday.
“There is a level of discomfort. If the police continue to operate in the space and maintain a high presence, nobody else will die in Allman Town. See a police vehicle passing just now. They are around the clock,” the resident said, pointing out that since the killing of McLeod the security forces have been very active and doing a lot of patrols.
At the same time the resident said he well knows that, “police patrols will only simmer the tension for the time being, but it takes more work to stop it. The community is highly tense”.
Another resident commended the security forces for their presence in the space but urged the police to quickly put out a person of interest list or a list of people wanted for questioning. As far as the resident is concerned, the police are aware of some of the people who may be linked to the current situation in the community.
“The place is very tense. Nobody is taking chances with any vehicle,” the resident said.
One man described the streets in the community as scanty since the murder of McCleod.
“You don’t really see a whole heap of people on the road. The word in the streets is saying that there was a double murder in St Andrew, and one of the two men come from Allman Town. People are alleging that it was somebody from the community who killed him. People say it is a reprisal because he has bad family who retaliate,” he said.
The resident recalled seeing McCleod’s baby, who had just turned three months on the day of the shooting, covered with blood.
“By the time I reached the scene I saw a man driving off with the baby’s mother and her aunty. They drove away leaving the baby. It was a man who came up with the baby and said the baby got shot. Blood was running on the baby and the man went into a vehicle with the baby in his hand,” the resident shared. “By the time the vehicle was ready to drive off, residents brought a man out of a yard with gunshot in his foot and they put him in the vehicle.”