‘Daddy, I got shot’

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — A Manchester father is hoping his prayers for help will be answered.

Alwyn Hall says he needs more than $1 million to meet hip replacement surgery costs for his 25-year-old daughter, Janique, who was one of five people shot by gunmen as they robbed a Beryllium courier crew at Scotiabank in Mandeville on August 25, 2023.

The attack occurred shortly after 5:00 pm outside the bank. Footage, which has gone viral, shows men armed with high-powered weapons escaping with two bags containing cash. Police have since charged Dorrell Watson, 25, otherwise called Stinger, who they said is one of the gunmen. Watson has been charged with robbery with aggravation, wounding with intent, shooting with intent, possession of a prohibited weapon, use of a prohibited weapon to commit a felony, and unauthorised possession of ammunition. He is to appear in the Manchester Parish Court today.

The father told the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday that he was at home on the day of the robbery when he got a call from his daughter, who is also called “Miss Chin”, telling him that she had been hit by a bullet.

“When she said ‘Daddy’, I said ‘Miss Chin, calm down’ and when she calmed down she said ‘Daddy, I’m down at the ATM at Scotia and I got shot’,” the distraught father related.

“She was in the line to go into the ATM, she and her friends/co-workers, so she was there to draw her pay. She said when she was in the line a security guard came out of the bank and said ‘Gimme way,’ and by the time he said that she got shot in her hip,” added the father.

He said his daughter was transferred to a Corporate Area hospital from Mandeville Regional Hospital last Friday.

“Since then they [doctors] gave me a paper with a list of items and said I need to get them. The bone specialist who examined her told me that the surgery will be costly. When I went to Kingston and got the paperwork and checked, the cost was $1,012,000. If we don’t get the parts for the replacement hip then the operation cannot be done. I don’t have the money,” he said.

“I got another paper from the hospital saying that I must pay $100,000 and any additional fee they will tell me about it. Right now I have the voucher, but I don’t pay it, because I don’t have it,” he added.

He is calling on the authorities to intervene and assist.

“Nobody from the security company or the bank come and say anything. Even the prime minister, I don’t hear him come out and say anything about what happened in Mandeville, but I saw [a report about] gunshots fired at Nationwide and they [politicians] are talking about that,” he said.

“Big, big robbery happened in Mandeville and nobody come out and say anything. No one has reached out to our family,” added the father.

“I don’t have a permanent job. I hustle for my children… I am a farmer and a painter and any hustling me gone on it same way, because I hustle to survive,” he explained.

The shooting has revived unpleasant memories for the father whose son, Jovain Hall, was gunned down in Patrick Town, near May Day, at an event on a Friday almost six years ago.

“It come in like seh me just salt, because my son died October 2017 from gunshot wound on a Friday and my daughter come get shot on the 25th of August on a Friday same way. After my daughter got shot on the Friday, the Saturday [August 26] would have been my son’s birthday, so everything just bungle up,” he said.

“Friday is not my day. It rough, but a just life. I am like Job. I won’t give up and I am not going to question my God, so I will never ask God why. I am just bearing it,” added the father.

When asked if he has sought any legal advice he said, “Not yet, but it is going to happen.”

A GoFundMe account has been created to raise funds to cover some of the expenses. Individuals can make donations at https://www.gofundme.com/f/janique-hall-medical-fund-raising. Alwyn Hall can be contacted at 876-352-0591.