fatal shooting of Oshane “Motumbo” Earle by the police in Pepper, St Elizabeth, last Wednesday put an end to what Jamaica Observer sources say was a trail of blood left by a maniacal killer who was at the top of the St James police most wanted list.
Hours after Motumbo’s death, Superintendent of Police in charge of operations in St James, Eron Samuels, told the Sunday Observer that residents of Barrett Town and Spring Mount were sighing with relief as he had terrorised both communities.
Since then, Sunday Observer sources have pointed to at least seven murders, a number of robberies and shootings which were linked to Motumbo over the past three years.
According to the sources, Motumbo first hit the police’s radar when he allegedly committed a murder on November 4, 2019.
In that incident, a man known as Ally, a labourer of Corner Road, Dumfries, St James, was sitting at his mother’s shop with other family members when he was pounced on by a gunman, later identified as Motumbo, who shot him all over his body.
Wanted for questioning in connection with that murder, Motumbo went under the radar and did not resurface until March 2021 when the police linked him to a second murder.
That time Bryan Coote was fatally shot in the Spring Garden area of St James. The sources say this was possibly a case of “jungle justice” as Coote was a drug addict who would go about the community stealing agricultural produce. Coote was also believed to be associated with members the Crocs Gang, which operates in the Spring Garden community and which was being targeted by Motumbo and the 30 Man Gang with which he was linked.
With his reputation now made in the St James criminal underworld, Motumbo attracted the attention of the police again in October 2021 when Sean Clarke was murdered as he left a bar in St James.
It is believed that Clarke was marked for death because he had started a relationship with Motumbo’s ex-girlfriend.
The sources say Motumbo’s attacks on the Crocs Gang continued in February this year when he and another man attacked and shot three people, including a 19-year-old who was believed to be a senior member of that gang.
On May 5, another alleged member of the Crocs Gang, 24-year-old Dino Scott otherwise called Bandit, was fatally shot in Spring Gardens. Investigators later linked Motumbo to that killing.
The murder of farmer Dwayne Russell in Adelphi Mountain, Spring Gardens on May 18 and Kerry Ann Dixon hours later, allegedly by Motumbo, caused the police to intensify their search for the man who was now among their most wanted.
The next day, members of a police team were on foot patrol in Spring Gardens when Motumbo was spotted. He was ordered to stop but instead turned and fired at the police. The police shot back but Motumbo ran into a yard and escaped.
Two days later a man, whose name is being withheld, reported to the police that he was asleep inside his house when he was alerted by his sister that an intruder was inside the building. The man said he looked up and saw Motumbo standing over him with a gun pointed in his direction. According to the man, Motumbo demanded that he hand over cash that was being kept inside the house. He escaped with just over $400,000.
With the search for Motumbo now on in earnest, on June 1, a police/military team targeted a house in which he was reportedly hiding.
The sources say as the security officers approached the house, Motumbo and another man ran from the building with guns pointed in the direction of the security team. The police and soldiers fired in the direction of the fleeing men. A search was conducted of the area but neither of the men was found.
Having escaped, Motumbo was back in action days later when he held up a woman in Spring Garden. The woman reported to the police that a man wearing a mask and armed with a rifle attacked her inside her house. She said she pulled down the mask of her attacker, revealing his face, and immediately recognised him. According to the woman, Motumbo then pointed the rifle towards her feet and fired one shot.
He then began to search the house and was joined by another man armed with a handgun. They left with approximately $150,000 which the woman had in the house.
With his reputation made as a gun for hire and a cold blooded killer, Motumbo next struck in German Town, St James, on September 4 where he was identified as the man who shot dead 26-year-old Gary Morgan and shot two other men who survived.
Three days later the fatal shootings of Crissanti Wilson and Shabbar Godson were also pinned on Motumbo.
Police report that he had been visiting Wilson for some time as they shared an intimate relationship. Wilson had reportedly decided to end the relationship but Motumbo refused to accept that it was over and, in a jealous rage, fatally shot the two.
Police investigators also told the Sunday Observer that while it has not yet been confirmed, Motumbo might have been involved in a triple murder in Bounty Hall, Trelawny in January. In that incident Daniel Williams, Tachae Black, and Shanielia Clarke were fatally shot by four men armed with high-powered weapons.
According to the investigators, spent casing found on the scene were matched to the gun used by Motumbo in at least two other killings.